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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Motorists using Interstate 40 will see a significant presence from the NC Highway Patrol during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The patrol is joining its counterparts across the nation in a campaign focused solely on I-40. The operation begins Wednesday and resumes on Sunday. According to research, the most heavily traveled times are from noon until midnight Wednesday and again from morning until late Sunday,

Officials hope the constant visibility from state to state will create a safe driving environment for all motorists, save lives and prevent injuries.

Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday, the patrol investigated 11 fatal accidents, 432 injury collisions and 1,457 property damage collisions. Troopers attribute many of the collisions to excessive speed.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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