RALEIGH – Famed NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte has a message for all North Carolinians: speeding belongs on the racetrack — not the highway.
That’s the point Labonte emphasized during the kickoff of the Speed a Little, Lose a Lot enforcement campaign today at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville. Labonte joined staff with the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program, NTI, Mooresville Police Chief Ron Campurciani and other law enforcement to kick off the weeklong speeding crackdown effort. The campaign runs through April 17.
“The skill level you need to control a car at high speeds takes a lot of practice, and you have to know your ability and limitations,” said Labonte. “Racecars are built strong and for safety, and I have equipment like a helmet and fireproof suit that you don’t have when you’re driving a street car. That’s why we have speed limits and need to follow them. I’m always aware of that when I’m on the road.”
North Carolina law enforcement officers will step up enforcement of speeding motorists from April 11-17. Speed-related fatalities have increased 17% in the past five years, with 424 people dying in speed-related crashes statewide in 2021 alone.
“Over the past few years, North Carolina has seen an alarming uptick in speed-related crashes,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Motorists are too often using the roads as their own personal NASCAR tracks, and vehicle crash deaths have skyrocketed in the past few years. As the weather warms and vacation season approaches, let’s all do our parts to keep each other safe and avoid tragedy on our roadways.”
The faster a vehicle travels, the more likely it is to be involved in a fatal crash. A crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or higher is five times as likely as a road where the speed limit is below 40 mph.
Motorists also don’t save time by speeding up. For instance, it takes just 49 seconds longer to travel two miles at 45 mph than it does if you’re going 65 mph.
Check out more facts related to speeding in North Carolina here: https://www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/safety/speed-a-little-lose-a-lot/Pages/default.aspx
As always, the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program encourages motorists to slow down, buckle up and never drive distracted or impaired.