Bluffton PD cracking down on bad driving - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bluffton PD cracking down on bad driving


By the end of the week, drivers will be seeing more blue and white lights on Bluffton roads.

The police department created a two-man traffic team that will strictly focus on decreasing
car wrecks.

They’ll be focusing their time on busy roads where a lot of car wrecks happen, like on Highway 278. And they’ll be looking for folks who are doing things that cause many of the collisions, like driving too close or speeding.

“I notice a lot of wrecks. More in the summer time on 278,” said Joseph Galuska, driver.

“With tourist season coming up, I think it’s going to get worse as out of towners are not really sure where they’re going or what’s happening around them because they’re on vacation,” said Amber Falle, driver.

Bluffton Police haven’t pinpointed one major factor causing the crashes, but believe one of the biggest reasons there’s been more is simply because more people are on the road.

“It is part of our strategic plan overall to reduce collisions by 10 percent each year. This traffic team is going to make that more of a reality,” said Joy Nelson, Bluffton Police Department.

The traffic team is being funded by a $200,000 grant from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, covering the cost of cars, equipment and the officers’ salaries.

Starting on Thursday, you’ll see them on roads where most of the wrecks are happening: Highway 278, Bluffton Parkway, U.S. 170 and May River Road. Officials admit more citations aren’t going to make many people happy.

“Yes, these officers are going to be handing out more tickets, but in the long run, it’s to slow people down and get people conscious of when they get behind the wheel, they are in a dangerous weapon and can cause a lot of harm to a lot of people if they don’t drive correctly,” said Nelson.

But as long as they’re making the roads safer, some Bluffton residents say they don’t mind.

“They need to monitor people that are tailgating. You don’t really see people tailgating if you’re a cop. They’re not going to do it. That’s where a lot of the wrecks are coming about. People are riding on bumpers, someone hits their brakes, it’s just going to domino and you have a big wreck and traffic’s going to get held up,” said Galuska.

“Everybody has to be accountable. So, if you’re doing something wrong and you get a ticket for it, maybe you’ll learn not to do it next time,” said Falle.

The grant will last nine months and the police department has already applied to receive the grant again.

If it’s denied, the department will still keep the traffic team. It plans to find other way to fund it. 

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