New Hampshire Cracks Down on Distracted, Speeding Drivers | NECN
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New Hampshire Cracks Down on Distracted, Speeding Drivers

There have been 11 accidents involving New Hampshire State Police vehicles in the past month.

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    There have been 11 accidents involving New Hampshire State Police vehicles in the past month. (Published Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015)

    New Hampshire State Police are dealing with some banged-up troopers and thousands of dollars worth of damage to their vehicles, and they say distracted and speeding drivers are to blame.

    Eleven cruisers on routine traffic stops have been hit by people driving by in recent weeks. In all of the accidents, police say, the drivers were distracted, speeding or both.

    "Another one," said Trooper Scott Garton. "It's scary because we do this all the time."

    Garton is talking about a recent crash Wednesday morning that sent his fellow trooper, Staff Sgt. David McCormack to the hospital.

    Sgt. McCormack was in his vehicle with his blue lights on, conducting a routine traffic stop along Interstate 93 when a 61-year-old man came barreling into his cruiser.

    "The trooper is very lucky," said Capt. Gary Wood.

    It was a close call, the latest in a string of accidents involving New Hampshire state trooper vehicles - 11 in just the past month and a half. Capt. Wood blames the snow and the holiday season, saying people are distracted by cell phones and rushing to their next destination.

    "You look down for a split second and you lose your bearings, and the next thing you know, you're running into an object, a cruiser or guardrail," Wood said.

    In an effort to get people to slow down and pay attention, police are out in full force for the start of 2015. On New Year's Day they had an aircraft tracking speeders and more than seven officers just on an Interstate 95 detail in the Greenland area.

    Police say their second traffic stop of the day was a drunk driver whose blood alcohol was twice the legal limit and who was going 95 miles per hour.

    Then, a woman clocked at 110 miles per hour with a poor excuse. She told the trooper she was "late for work."

    Capt. Wood and Trooper Garton are asking everyone to make at least one resolution, a simple request that could save a life. "People have got to slow down," Garton said.

    Police are reminding drivers that New Hampshire law requires drivers to move over or at least slow down for emergency vehicles on the side of the road.

    The most recent cruiser crash is still under investigation. The trooper is out of the hospital, but not yet back at work. 

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