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Aggressive driving, fatal crashes on the rise in Charlotte

CMPD says it's having weekly speed operations to nab aggressive drivers and ramp up DWI checks.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Eleven people have been killed in just over two weeks from car crashes in Charlotte. According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, aggressive and drunk driving are on the rise.  

CMPD said in one of its YouTube videos that it’s cracking down on dangerous driving this holiday season and urged drivers to help them fix the problem.

According to AAA, risky driving is up 24% and traffic fatalities are up 10.5% nationwide from 2020 to 2021. 

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“People are now, you know, engaging in such behaviors as speeding, red light running, distracted driving, getting behind the wheel after they know they've been drinking,” explained AAA Carolinas spokesperson Tiffany Wright. 

CMPD Detective Justin Kupfer said drivers are especially in a rush during the holidays —  aggressively trying to evade traffic to get to their plans. 

Reckless and impaired driving has proven to be detrimental. 

"If these keep up, the aggressive driving and impaired driving, a lot of families are going to be missing loved ones at the dinner table,” Kupfer said. 

The detective recalled the Independence Boulevard crash on Dec. 1 that killed two and seriously injured another. 

"There’s a family there that lost a 23-year-old son I believe and then a 21-year-old daughter," Kupfer said, adding the collision "was due to speed and impairment.” 

The police department is now having weekly speed operations to nab aggressive drivers and according to Kupfer, it’s ramping up DWI checks. 

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To stay safe, Wright suggested drivers drive defensively, leave plenty of room in front of them, and prepare for winter weather. That includes checking tire tread and ensuring windshield wipers are working correctly. 

And of course, never drink and drive. 

"People need to be more responsible and do rideshare or find a safe ride home,” Kupfer said. 

If people are out drinking in the South End or Uptown and looking for a safe ride, Green Easy Safe Transportation carts offer free rides in the area.  All riders have to do is call a cart through the GEST app, similar to Uber and Lyft.

Contact Julia Kauffman at jkauffman@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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