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Leigha Hougland column on speeding

Riding around with Salisbury police officer Andy Efird was fun and exciting. Efird was made jokes and waved to his friends, yet when he spoke about the dangers of speeding it was obvious he felt there was nothing light about the subject.
When Efird pulled his car out of our hiding place on Statesville Boulevard in pursuit of a speeding car, my heart dropped to my stomach in sympathy for the person who was being pulled over.
The woman was very nice and said she understood why she had been pulled over. She then said something that made a lot of sense to me: “Sometimes we just get in too big a hurry and forget to be careful” ó which is just the reason for the No Need 2 Speed campaign.
During the week-long campaign, officers from Granite Quarry, China Grove, and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department were all invited to Salisbury to help put more cops on the road. The statewide campaign is, according to Efird, an “effort to slow down motorists.”
The campaign allows officers to spend more time solely on traffic enforcement, in order to bring awareness to drivers that speeding is dangerous. The campaign is not aimed toward giving more tickets, but to making police officers more visible, said Efird.
During the week-long program, 11,241 motorists were cited for speeding across the state. There were 2,697 citations given for people not wearing a seat belt. Officers also gave 385 citations for child passenger safety violations.
Many people my age are new drivers, and with that inexperience we get constant reminders to be careful when we drive. Many new drivers have a hard time grasping the dangers of being on the road, and as a result are not careful to watch their speed.
For the most part, my peers seem to be pretty responsible when it comes to driving. Everyone I know always wears a seat belt and is good about paying close attention to the road. However, speeding seems to be an issue.
I have caught myself numerous times going way too fast without even realizing it. I will look down at my speedometer and then find myself in shock when I see that I am going 10 or 15 mph over the limit. I think a lot of this has to do with my forgetting how important it is to watch my speed consistently.
The reason teens seem to be more likely to speed is lack of experience ó we are not used to having to check how fast we are going.
Teens aren’t bad drivers for the most part; we are just not used to having to be aware of so many things at once, things that we never expect to have to be aware of.
Whenever I am about to get in the car to drive a long distance, my parents always have a list of things to watch for. They tell me to be careful, not because they think I can’t drive, but because other people are not careful.
This is why I think the No Need 2 Speed campaign is very important. It not only brings awareness that speeding is illegal, but it brings awareness that speeding is dangerous.
Even if you don’t feel that it is a big deal if you are speeding, it is important to remember that there are other people on the road. Your speeding is not only putting you in danger, but it is also putting many other people at risk as well.
Leigha Hougland, a senior at Salisbury High School, is an intern for the Post.

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