S.C. Cracks Down on Delinquent Drivers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


S.C. Cracks Down on Delinquent Drivers

Police are hitting the road in South Carolina this summer. Officers see more alcohol-related fatal accidents during the summer than at any other time. That's why state troopers will be assigned extra shifts to increase their visibility and cut down on the number of fatalities.

Over the last five years, speed and alcohol-related violations were the major cause of traffic deaths on South Carolina highways. Officers say the lethal combination of both resulted in 44% of all fatal accidents.

"This year, has been worse than other years when it comes to traffic fatalities," explained South Carolina State Trooper Lieutenant Tommy Collins. "In Beaufort and Jasper Counties, half of them (traffic fatalities) already have been contributed to drunk driving."

The South Carolina State Highway Patrol is trying to change that. A $585,000 federal grant will pay for state troopers to work extra shifts to concentrate on D.U.I. enforcement.

"I'm hoping one night for someone not to call me and tell me someone has been killed," said Lieutenant Collins. "If we can save one life by increasing enforcement than it would be worth it."

Troopers are focusing their attention on areas with historically high numbers of speed and alcohol related crashes. In Beaufort County, they'll be concentrating mostly on Highways 170, 46, 21, and 278.

"I think it's going to give us an increase in visibility," added Lieutenant Collins, "which goes hand in hand with decreasing DUIs and speeding."

To protect yourself on the road, state troopers say wearing your seatbelt is the number one defense against drunk drivers. If you do see a drunk driver in South Carolina, you can call *HP from your cellular phone.

The enforcement program runs through September 30th and will concentrate on the major summer holidays, including Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July and Labor Day Weekend.

Reported by Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com


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