Operation C.A. R. E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) is about Highway Patrol and State Police agencies who have joined together in the endeavor of reducing human suffering on our highways, particularly during the national holidays.
Operation C.A.R.E. includes a public information and education campaign as well as strict, consistent enforcement during selected holidays by participating law enforcement agencies. This campaign has resulted in increased compliance with traffic laws and a reduction of collision- related deaths and injuries.
All enforcement efforts conducted by the North Carolina Highway Patrol are documented and forwarded to the National Operation C.A. R. E. officials immediately following each selected holiday period. Operation C.A.R.E. activities are the only national holiday enforcement events devoted entirely to traffic highway safety involving Highway Patrol and State Police agencies. The designated holiday enforcement periods are national “hands-across-the-border” events.
Launched in 1977 by Sergeant Gary Ernst of the Michigan State Police and First Sergeant Gene Neff of the Indiana State Police, Operation C.A.R.E. was formed as a multijurisdictional program of patrol, enforcement, and planning activities committed to the goal of accident reduction.
In 1978, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol joined with Operation C.A.R.E. in a combined effort to deter the three key causes of highway fatalities: speeding, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints.
Support for Operation C.A.R.E. was so widespread that within the same year, membership expanded to include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
For increased communications and special enforcement project purposes, all Operation C.A.R.E. member states are divided into regions. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is a part of Region 4, which consists of the following eight southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Each year the North Carolina State Highway Patrol participates in this worthwhile effort on a statewide basis involving every troop during national holidays. The increased visibility by uniformed North Carolina Highway Patrol members on all streets and highways, coupled with aggressive enforcement of all motor vehicle/criminal laws and education through media opportunities serves to save lives and reduce injuries during the holiday periods.