The N.C. Highway Patrol says troopers issued more than 13,000 speeding tickets during Operation Slow Down, a safety campaign conducted in the week leading up to Easter.
By far, the largest number was handed out by troopers based in Newton.
The campaign ran from March 25 to 31. Officials say speeding is the leading cause of fatal wrecks in North Carolina, accounting for 245 deaths in 1,801 fatal collisions in 2012.
In all, there were 13,667 speeding citations issued, with 5,999 coming from Troop F in Newton. That unit handles traffic in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell and Lincoln counties, including heavily used Interstates 77 and 40 and U.S. 321.
In contrast, the second-highest number of speeding tickets was 1,637, issued by Troop C, based in Raleigh.
Troop E, based in Salisbury, had 1,005 citations. Troop H, based in Monroe, had 860 citations.
Troop E handles Cabarrus, Rowan and Stanly counties in the Charlotte region. Troop H handles Anson, Cleveland, Gaston, Mecklenburg and Union counties in the Charlotte region.
It was not clear why so many more tickets were issued by Troop C than the other divisions. A spokesman for the Highway Patrol could not be reached Friday.
Of the 13,000-plus speeding tickets issued during the campaign, the Highway Patrol says 617 were for drivers clocked at 25 mph or more over the speed limit.
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