Johnston participating in ‘Survive the Drive’ campaign

The Survive the Drive campaign, emphasizing speeding and distracted driving, runs through the end of June.

By Steve Reed

Johnston County is one of five North Carolina counties with high traffic fatality and crash rates that’s participating in the Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s “Survive the Drive” campaign.

In the past five years, Johnston County had 1,712 speed-related crashes on rural roads. Those crashes resulted in 37 fatalities and 794 injuries.

Total crashes, fatalities and injuries in Johnston County were down in 2017, compared to the previous year. Total 2017 crashes were 291, compared to 411 in 2016; fatalities were six in 2017, down one from 2016 and total injuries were 119 in 2017, compared to 200 in 2016.

Since 2013, Johnston County had 1,673 crashes on rural roads because of distracted driving. Those crashes resulted in 14 deaths and 973 injuries for the past five years.

In 2017, there were 385 distracted driving crashes, compared to 379 in 2016. There were two fatalities in 2017, the same number as in 2016. In 2017, there were 139 injuries, down from 182 in 2016.

The state is partnering with state troopers and local law enforcement agencies. They are using high-visibility traffic enforcement in an effort to reduce speeding and distracted driving on North Carolina’s rural roads.

The campaign was launched Friday, Feb. 9, in Johnston, Harnett, Sampson, Cleveland and Randolph counties.

Johnston County and local law enforcement officials were at the launch ceremony on Government Road in Clayton.

“We’ve got a problem with people speeding on our back roads,” said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell. “We’re participating with the Highway Patrol on the rural roads, as well as the major highways.”

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