Palmetto State leads country in fatality rate on rural roads - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Palmetto State leads country in fatality rate on rural roads

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)

South Carolina roads are at the top of a new list but it's not something to be proud of this time.

"In South Carolina, the rural roads, our secondary routes, our farm-to-market roads, are the most deadly in the entire country," said Eric Dickey with SC Alliance to Fix Our Roads.

In black and white, the new report by TRIP, a national non-profit transportation research group, puts the Palmetto State above states like Florida, West Virginia, and Texas.

The report found that on South Carolina's rural roads, there are roughly 4 traffic fatalities per every 100 million vehicle miles of travel, the most in the country.

"About 650 out of 850 fatalities last year came on our secondary road systems," Dickey said. "Now, you hear about the interstate wrecks that kill somebody. That gets more headlines, but it's really our secondary routes that are most dangerous."

Dickey said poor roads are the problem.

He said roads received a bit of a boost in funding in 2013, but this year that wasn't the case.

"It's an election year, so I think everybody over the past session was very cognizant of that and didn't want to do anything this year," Dickey said.

But next year, Dickey hopes this report might help spark more funding.

The governor has said she'll reveal her plan in January, a plan that won't include raising taxes.

Others are still eyeing a plan to raise the gas tax.

House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford will even propose upscale casinos in Myrtle Beach to raise road funds.

"Everything has got to be on the table," Dickey said. "If it's gaming money, it's gaming money."

Dickey said he's just ready for a fix, and a smoother, safer ride.

"We do not, in South Carolina, take care of our largest asset, which is our roads," Dickey said.

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