My Turn, Your Turn: Operation AWARE

By Gary McNair - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

You might recall I made up my mind quickly about how I feel about driving here.  I find it to be a scary experience.

I complained about it in one of my first commentaries.  It generated a lot of emails - mostly from people saying it was not polite to move to a town and be so critical so quickly.

I understand that point, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but a year has passed and the craziness continues.  Bad and aggressive drivers are still on the road.  I'm learning to cope by trying to find humor in watching outrageous behavior.

But that may change. The Sheriff's Department, Highway Patrol and the Wilmington PD have teamed up for something called "Operation AWARE."   Those three agencies are going after aggressive drivers.

I hope they get them - every single one of them; the speeders, those who follow too close, those that dart in and out changing lanes, anyone who runs stop lights or stop signs.  I'm talking about anybody who thinks their commute is so important it's okay to put others in danger.

So I give kudos to our local law enforcement and "Operation Aware."  Give them a big "thumbs-up" next time you see them trying to help make our streets safer.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Viewers' Response:

I'm with you.  I too am a transplant from another area, Los Angeles to be exact.  So I know first hand what aggressive and out-of-control driving is all about.  And I must say, "Wilmington drivers are a very close second".

So it was refreshing to hear that the AWARE program had been implemented.  Actually, I think the agencies need to stop at the letter "A".  That in itself is probably enough.

Furthermore, with the economy affecting so many municipalities and city budgets, I can't think of a better way to "kill many birds with one stone".

So therefore I say....Write the tickets and write plenty of them!  Build up the city coffers "legally'!


In the last month I have avoided 3 possible accidents due to unruly drivers. I say Operation Aware is right up there ally. I am all in favor of it and I hope thry get every one of them.


I agree, driving in this county you take your life in your hands! I am all for law breakers getting tickets.

If only the Carolina Beach Police Department would do traffic enforcement. Here we fear for our lives walking or driving.

In the last week I was almost hit 2 times when people simply ignored stop signs. People routinely do 45-55 in 25 mile an hour zones.


Not only are there issues with aggressive drivers BUT the older drivers that drive well below the speed limit, slam on their brakes,

or simply can't decide if they should turn or not. I am a baby boomer myself and appreciate ageless drivers and their independence.

But I have to say, they need to go back to driver's school and learn that when behind the wheel they are NOT the only ones on the road.


Whenever you see or hear of law enforcement officers disguised as power line workers, golfers or anything other than law enforcement officers, you know they are just there to collect taxes for traffic violations.  If they really wanted to slow traffic,  have people obey traffic laws and make the roads a safer place, they would be as visible as possible.  WECT actually does more to make the roads safer by reporting on hidden police activities.


I agree with your immediate I was born and raised here and since I was old enough to see the road from my car seat then began to drive, the traffic has been crazy! What happened to common courtesy, common sense, and concern for safety of yourself and others!!! So I agree that the new traffic crack down is well over due and will be greatly appreciated!!


I too am a transplant to Wilmington and  I truely have not lived in an area where folks have such an aversion to the use of turn signals.  I think the local authorities should ticket for this too.  Aside from the dangerous driving conditions I really like living here and am glad I came.


I have very little room to talk when it comes to aggressive driving but that's exactly why I feel I must say something. It is not just the aggressive drivers that make Wilmington such a scary place to drive, it's anyone who provokes folks like myself as well! The sad thing is you never here about those who drive 45 mph in a 55 mph zone, in the left lane no less. You never hear about those who refuse to use that little stick on the left side of the steering wheel to let someone know they intend to turn. You never hear about those who use a merge lane as a drag strip, or those who use "less than" driving to agitate others. Please don't misunderstand me, I am in no way condoning aggressive driving habits, I myself am seeking counseling to learn to control my "road rage".

The point is this, if everyone was a little more "AWARE" of their own driving habits and how they affect others on the road, we wouldn't need to waste valuable law enforcement recourses on things that should be common sense


I am less intimidated driving in downtown Chicago than I am driving on Market Street!  I feel that the drivers here are very rude - i.e. speeding; riding your bumper; have zero consideration for anybody trying to pull into traffic and on and on.  Then there is the middle lane, which another word for that is "death trap".  Honest I've never seen anything like the drivers here.  It really surprises me because the people here are so friendly.  The doctors/dentists/clinics/hospitals/grocery stores/really any stores are so nice, not sure what happens when all of these nice people get behind the wheel!


We were listening to your afternoon (Your Turn My Turn)3-27-9.We totally agree with you.There is also another traffic hazard that needs to be addressed.That is the use of cell phones while driving.We were on our way to an app. the other day and a man pulled up by us .He was using a cell phone and the hand he had on the steering was also holding a paper and a pen.Thanks for allowing me to express my opinion.Keep Up The Good Work


I agree with all your comments on the bad drivers in the area. But the one comment I would like to make is the people who are supposed to patrol this are often no better. I believe if a Police, Sheriff or Highway Patrol car does not have their blue flashers on and/or siren on they should be following the same law that the rest of us do. But this is often not the case. I am passed all the time when I am going the speed limit.

I see them tailgating all the time and I don't think anyone should use a cell phone while driving, but talking on a police radio should be the same thing. I would not complain in person because I would expect they would be one the lookout for me.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.