Troopers charge 381 in safety campaign

The state Highway Patrol brought 381 charges against drivers during a week-long effort to reduce teen driving deaths in Johnston County.

Most of the citations were for speeding.

As part of "Operation Drive to Live," troopers enforced traffic laws around schools and conducted traffic safety education programs at the high schools. Since the beginning of 2006, 27 teens have died in crashes in the county, an unusual toll that has caught the attention of local leaders as well as the patrol.

Two teenagers, age 17, were charged with traveling at excessively high speeds, said Capt. Everett Clendenin. One was traveling 96 in a 70 mph zone. The other was going 83 in a 65 mph zone, Clendenin said.

"The Highway Patrol will continue to work hard in Johnston County to curb teenage deaths," he said.

Johnston County Commissioner Tony Braswell is spearheading an effort to reduce the number of young drivers involved in car wrecks. Over the past few months, Braswell has gathered state and county agencies, including the Highway Patrol, the N.C. Department of Transportation and Johnston County Schools, to try to determine what's causing the deaths and to come up with solutions.