Memorial Day is right around the corner, and for those of us near the coast, this means considerably higher traffic along our thoroughfares as vacationers flock to the beach for the holiday weekend. Ranking as one of the top ten most visited states for domestic travel, NC commonly experiences increased roadway congestion. What this weekend should also remind us of, however, is the extreme importance of automobile safety as our loved ones submit themselves to the mercy of their fellow drivers among our state’s highways. This sentiment is echoed by Governor Pat McCrory, who has officially declared May Seat Belt Safety Awareness Month. At 42% percent, almost half of passenger vehicle fatalities last year can be attributed to drivers or passengers not wearing seat belts.
To this end, the Governor’s Highways Safety Program features the continuance of the State’s “Click it or Ticket” campaign intended to increase seat belt usage by raising awareness of NC’s strict seat belt policies: charging up to $179 in fines per ticket and even up to $263 per passengers 15 and under not wearing their seat belt. The initiative also features the increased likelihood of police checkpoints on the roads intended to make sure drivers are buckling up.
On the other hand, for drivers leaving the coastal area, here are a few helpful pieces of traffic information courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Transportation to expedite your commute:
- N.C. 42 will have a signed detour, road closure and bridge replacement east and west of Ahoskie Creek in Hertford County.
- N.C. 94 will have a road closure and bridge construction on Elementary School Road at U.S. 64 in Tyrrell County.
- U.S. 158 will have two-lane two-way traffic on the Pasquotank River Bridge in Pasquotank County.
- I-85 will have lane closures in both the northbound and southbound lanes traffic between the Virginia line and the town of Henderson. The pattern affects traffic in Vance and Granville counties.
- U.S. 23/74 will have a bridge replacement in Jackson County.
- N.C. 294 will have portable traffic signals in Cherokee County.
As always, remember to start your commute early in the day to avoid peak traffic hours, obey the posted speed limits, never drive when feeling tired or drowsy, and needless to say, buckle up!
Have a great Holiday weekend, and stay out of trouble; but if you do find yourself in need of representation or know someone else who does, be sure to give us a call at Collins Law Firm (910) 793-9000.
By Clifford Howie, Legal Assistant