Technology to reshape the roadways, reduce traffic deaths in North Carolina


RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Many leaders in the transportation industry believe that technology is the answer to Gov. Roy Cooper’s call to reduce traffic deaths in North Carolina to zero over the next decade, but they say it also poses the biggest challenge to drivers everywhere.

“There’s three things that have always been a problem, and they continue to be a problem: Impaired driving, speed, and people not properly secured,” said Mark Ezzell, Director of the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “These are three areas we want to concentrate on while still talking about issues that are cropping up.”

Those issues include e-scooters, which have proven to be difficult to regulate, and even harder for local lawmakers to get a read on.

“They just sort of sprung up,” said Ezzel.

“Now you have e-scooter riders mixed in with traffic,” said North Carolina Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon. “That’s the right environment for it to be, but how do we increase the safety and awareness?”

“They have the potential of being a new, innovative, and inexpensive way of mobility in some of our large densely populated cities but they could also be dangerous,” said Ezzel.

North Carolina Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon sees technology reshaping the roadways in North Carolina, improving safety, and changing the way we get around.

“The first time you get in a vehicle and it doesn’t have a driver you will be surprised, but you will be safe,” said Trogdon. “It will be just like e-scooters. You won’t see or hear anything about them, but all of a sudden they just pop up. It will be the same way with autonomous cars.”

“My goal is to have no traffic deaths in North Carolina,” said Ezzel. “The only acceptable number for that is zero.”

The quickest change we may see in the Triangle is wrong way driver alert systems.

The NCDOT is currently experimenting with an alert pilot program on the Triangle Expressway.

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