Holiday Traffic: Where You’ll See Troopers & When To Hit The Road

CHARLOTTE, NC — Holiday travel peaks on the highway Wednesday.

More troopers will be on the roads patrolling for speeding and aggressive drivers in hopes of cutting down on fatal wrecks.

“A lot of people take their safety for granted when they’re behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Trooper Ray Pierce.

Trooper Pierce took WCCB Charlotte’s Courtney Francisco on a ride along to show how highway patrol is trying to stop bad driver behavior this holiday.

Within minutes on Interstate 85 near Gastonia, he was pulling over serious speeders. One person was going 94 mph in a 70.

The trooper had to go 123 mph to catch up.

“Where you headed to so quickly?” said Trooper Pierce. “You need to slow it down. At that speed, if you have a collision out there, it’s not going to end well for you.”

23 people died in crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday in North Carolina last year, according to AAA. That’s up from 2016.

Speeding was the main cause, troopers say.

Starting Wednesday, troopers will sit every 20 miles along Interstate 40.

Mecklenburg County led the state in the number of people killed last year who weren’t wearing seatbelts. That number was 31.

In Charlotte, all 28 troopers will patrol I-85, I-77, and I-485.

They’re watching for seat belt violations, people texting, drifting, breaking erratically and speeding.

You will see multiple troopers post up at the same spot, hidden around ramps.

“One runs the radar, clocks the vehicle, gives a description of the driver and the vehicle. And then the other trooper makes the stop,” said Trooper Pierce.

Expect the worst traffic from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Sunday, it will get bad by 8:00 am with people trying to beat the crowd home.

“If not your safety, the safety of others around you is what we ask drivers to consider,” said Trooper Pierce.