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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The North Carolina Highway Patrol is warning drivers that troopers will be out in force over the next week looking for speeders and other dangerous drivers.

Operation Slow Down begins on Monday with troopers using both marked and unmarked cars to catch violators on interstates and major four-lane highways.

Authorities say that speed is the biggest cause of wrecks and fatalities both in the state and across the nation.

Last year, North Carolina troopers issued almost 20,000 tickets statewide during Operation Slow Down. More than 8,000 of those were for speeding.

The operation continues through next Sunday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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