Truck drivers from all across the country say some of the best sightseeing in North Carolina is right in our own backyard, where Interstate 77 cuts through the Lake Norman area.Its not the natural beauty of the lake theyre talking about, but women in bathing suits who congregate on boats next to the causeway.Over the years, some women have flashed drivers going across the causeway. The drivers have tended to slow down, causing significant delays for other motorists on I-77 during the spring and summer, and possibly to become distracted enough to cause a wreck. Now, N.C. Department of Transportation is hoping to change that. In an attempt to reduce the rubbernecking, boaters are being told they cannot drop anchor and expose themselves close to the interstate.Weve been working with the Lake Norman Marine Commission to install buoys in the lake around the causeway, which state that boats cannot stop and anchor between the buoys and the causeway, said Timothy Kirk, operations engineer for DOT. This was done to prevent boats close to the causeway from creating opportunities for drivers on I-77 to rubberneck and take their attention away from the roadway.This stretch of I-77 already experiences heavy southbound delays during afternoon rush hours as the roadway narrows from three to two lanes and extra southbound traffic from Lowes headquarters in Mooresville enters the interstate at Exit 31. DOT officials feared that this extra traffic, combined with the lakeside rubbernecking, would create interminable delays on the interstate. Theyre hoping the anchor restrictions will help keep traffic moving.The buoys were installed about 300 yards west of the causeway, and signs prohibiting boats to anchor between the buoys and the interstate were also installed, both north and south of the Davidson exit (Exit 30).Kirk described the buoy installation as an out-of-the-box idea, but the initial reviews are encouraging. I think its an excellent solution to the problem, said Cornelius Police Chief Bence Hoyle. Keeping it enforced takes a lot of time, but CMPD has jumped on it and helped get the message out there. All in all, a good solution to a persistent and dangerous problem.Traffic delays on I-77 caused by motorists slowing down to look at accidents or disabled cars, as well as at unclothed boaters, have become a major focus of DOTs attention in Mecklenburg County. Weve had extensive meetings with the responding agencies along the interstate, and they have all agreed that quick clearance of minor incidents is a necessity if we are to keep the traffic moving, Kirk said.As a result, DOT has also launched a pilot program designating certain wide exit ramps in the Charlotte area as accident Investigation sites. Signs have been installed at the selected locations in an attempt to move jammed motorists as well as responding police agencies off the main road. Thus far, the signs have been installed on I-77 ramps at exits 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12 and 18.This not only protects the motorists who have been involved in minor crashes but it also protects the police officers who are often between the wrecked vehicles and moving traffic. The closest accident investigation site to the Lake Norman area is Exit 18. The DOT is eyeing the area around Exit 31, however, as a potential site.That area is definitely an interesting area when it comes to traffic. Over the next few weeks, we will take a closer look at the ramps and then follow up with a possible course of action, Kirk said.