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Ask 13: Why are Woodfin police able to patrol I-26?

"Why are Woodfin police able to patrol Highway 26? That is the jurisdiction of the State Highway Patrol, correct?" viewer Tom wrote to Ask 13. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Anyone driving through the town of Woodfin on 19/23, or future Interstate 26, knows they had better slow down. Woodfin police can be seen stopping speeders and other offenders there regularly.

However, some locals question Woodfin's jurisdiction on that stretch of road.

"Why are Woodfin police able to patrol Highway 26? That is the jurisdiction of the State Highway Patrol, correct?" viewer Tom wrote to Ask 13.

Tom is right -- 19/23/future I-26 is a highway where the Highway Patrol has jurisdiction, but they are not the only ones who have jurisdiction.

Woodfin Police Chief Mike Dykes says his officers are responsible for traffic enforcement and crashes throughout the entire municipality of Woodfin.

"Which includes I-26," Dykes said. "So, therefore, since we have to work the crashes on I-26, we also have to do what we can to reduce the crashes, which includes speed enforcement and other types of dangerous driving behaviors we're looking for, including now texting and driving and drunk driving."

The chief said those are things they patrol for on every road inside the town of Woodfin, including I-26.

Dykes said the Highway Patrol is only responsible for working crashes outside of municipalities but have enforcement rights on any road.

It is no different than Asheville police handling crashes on I-40 or I-240, and why local police also do speed enforcement in those areas inside their municipality.

If you have a question you would like answered, write to Ask13@WLOS.com.

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