New Officers to Patrol "Crash Corridor" - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/03/04

New Officers to Patrol "Crash Corridor"

Interstate 95 is one of the busiest freeways anywhere. You probably drive on it from time to time. Tens of thousands of people pass through the Low Country and Coastal Empire, but some of those people aren't making it home. The stretch around Hardeeville has been one of the worst in the last couple weeks, with accidents almost every day.

Police say it all comes down to speed. The speed limit's 70mph, but most people do well over 80. For a while now, the State of South Carolina has referred to that part of I-95 as the "Crash Corridor," and in Hardeeville, at least, it's an apt title.

"Our police department and our fire department are way too busy and these last nine days have been awful," said the city's Rob Dewig.

In the last week and a half, there have been about ten major accidents along the small stretch of 95 that passes through Hardeeville, and the city's getting sick of it.

"What we're winding up with over the past nine days is a combo of bad weather, high traffic because of the vacation time," said Dewig. "People are having accidents, people are getting killed, and they don't need to be."

Dewig says far and away, the biggest problem is speeding. And even if most people who live around here know that it's a dangerous area, most of the people driving through aren't from here. City officials say they hope even the threat of getting a ticket will slow people down as they go through Hardeeville.

"The city has just added a two-man traffic enforcement division," said Dewig. "The hope is those two guys and an increased visibility of our police officers on the street will at least get people to think twice."

The city hopes to place those officers into their new regular shifts within a few weeks. This recent rash of wrecks has killed three people in Hardeeville alone.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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