Highlands: A safe place to drive, says AAA

Highlands Police Chief Bill Harrell (center) accepts award

For the sixth straight year the town of Highlands is being recognized for its strong efforts to make the roads safer.

Highlands joins Holly Springs and Chapel Hill as the grand winners for the North Carolina Traffic Safe Communities for 2012 by the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Representatives from the town of Highlands received the honor recently at a ceremony in Durham.

Highlands was named the Traffic Safe Community for 2012 for communities with a population of 10,000 and under.

According to AAA, Highlands operates a bicycle unit in heavily populated pedestrian areas, utilizes traffic-calming signs and maintains high visibility in targeted areas.

Tom Crosby with AAA Carolinas says while these and other towns are making efforts to promote safe highways, North Carolina as whole, still has many traffic problems to address, “In North Carolina, one out of every five involves an unlicensed driver.

We had the second highest number of teen driving deaths in the first six months of 2011, and pedestrian are increasing this year at a rate of 15 percent over last year, despite a decrease in overall traffic fatalities.”

“Through enforcement, education and strong legislation and the examples of these communities, we can continue to save lives in North Carolina,” added Crosby.