Troopers out in force during holiday travel

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Troopers across the Carolinas are out in full force during the Thanksgiving weekend.

"We're looking for anybody that looks like they're driving fast," Trooper Jack Rose said as Eyewitness News rode along with him Wednesday morning.

It didn't take long for him to pull over Azza Shoaibi for going 80 miles an hour on I-85 North.

"It's a little fast," he said. "It's a 60 mile-per-hour speed limit through here."

Shoaibi was on her way to Washington, D.C., for Thanksgiving.

"Sometimes you just go with the flow," she said. "Suddenly, oh, you're speeding."

Rose said he's watching for other things, too.

"Aggressive drivers," he said. "Tailgating. Somebody might be weaving around their lane a little too much."

He said even sudden, unsafe exits from the interstate, which he sometimes sees when a driver is using GPS navigation and is unfamiliar with the off- and on-ramps, could warrant being pulled over.

Rose pulled over one driver who appeared not to be wearing a seat belt.

It turned out he had the seat belt tucked under his arm and got away with a warning.

In South Carolina, Lance Cpl. Billy Elder said troopers were also busy.

He showed people at a rest stop one of the state's three rollover simulators, which he says demonstrate why wearing a seatbelt makes a person seven times more likely to survive a wreck.

"When you see it, it stays in your memory, and you're able to learn from it and say, 'I'm not going to let that be me,'" he said.

Rose said people just need to be careful and give themselves plenty of travel time.

"Just slow down and just pay attention and just drive safe," he said.

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said most drivers won't have to worry about construction-related delays.

Most construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended until 9 a.m. Monday, with these exceptions:

N.C. 12 from the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe, Dare County, will have intermittent closures due to changing weather and surf conditions.

U.S. Route 17 Business in Jacksonville, Onslow County, is reduced to two-lane, two-way traffic on the Buddy Phillips Bridge over the New River for construction of a new bridge.

U.S. Route 74-76 in Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County, on the Wrightsville Draw Bridge is reduced to one lane in each direction for construction of a new bridge.

U.S. Route 421 in Carolina Beach, New Hanover County, is reduced to one lane in each direction at Snow Cut's Bridge for rehabilitation work.

Interstate 73 in Greensboro, Guilford County, will be reduced to three lanes in each direction from 2 miles south of Wendover Avenue, at Exit 101, to 1 mile north of I-85 Business, at Exit 97, for construction of a new interchange.