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Troopers with the N.C. State Highway Patrol’s Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program amped up their patrols last week with a special two-day enforcement campaign.
Troopers with the motor carrier division increased patrols on U.S. 17 last Tuesday, Nov. 25 and on U.S. 74 on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
According to Sgt. T.D. Wheeler, the scope of the enforcement project focused on commercial motor vehicle safety and aggressive driving by passenger vehicles around these trucks.
Wheeler said troopers selected Brunswick County’s two main thoroughfares because of the crash volume on the roads.
“Basically, what I’m tasked to do is analyze crash data on a quarterly basis,” Wheeler explained. “I utilize crash data to try and combat the crash volume either through enforcement, voluntary compliance and presence to try and bring those numbers down. U.S. 17 and 74 were the biggest of the crash areas,” Wheeler said.
During the two-day campaign, troopers conducted 148 commercial vehicle safety inspections and found 164 commercial driver and vehicle violations. Sixteen vehicles and drivers were placed out of service.
The size and weight troopers, who are charged with protecting roadway infrastructure, issued citations for 154,000 pounds of overweight violations.
Troopers also issued 59 citations for speeding and aggressive driving around commercial motor vehicles as well as other traffic violations.
According to Wheeler, Trooper J.R. Edwards was assigned to traffic enforcement of passenger vehicles driving around the commercial motor vehicles, as well as enforcing speeding violations of commercial vehicles.
The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Unit also conducted traffic enforcement in the area, Wheeler said.
The Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program works with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, Wheeler said.
Wheeler’s troop covers highways in 11 counties, which include: Brunswick, New Hanover, Columbus, Bladen, Cumberland, Sampson, Onlsow, Pender, Duplin, Robeson and Harnett counties.