Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeTravelTraffic deaths in SC down as state reintroduces familiar safety campaign

Traffic deaths in SC down as state reintroduces familiar safety campaign

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) – Over the next two weeks, AAA predicts more than 100 million Americans will be on the roads during what it expects will be the second-busiest end-of-year travel period in more than two decades.
It arrives as new figures show South Carolina roads are the safest they have been in several years.
On Tuesday, the heads of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Department of Public Safety and Department of Transportation held a news conference just off Interstate 126 in Columbia to encourage safe driving to close out the year.
“Let’s all work together to make this a safe and happy holiday season and to carry that success into 2024,” DPS Director Robert Woods said.
The end of 2023 brings good tidings for South Carolina drivers, with traffic fatalities at their lowest point in years and 130 fewer deaths reported than at this point last year.
“That’s 130 of our family members, of our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors, who will be home for the holidays,” DPS Highway Safety & Justice Programs Director Phil Riley said.
State leaders attribute the decrease in deaths to driver education, engineering of safer roads, and greater enforcement of traffic rules.
Starting this month, reminders of the importance of driving safety can be spotted across the state.
The Department of Public Safety is bringing back the “Highways or Dieways” campaign that first debuted more than 30 years ago on billboards, interstate videoboards, and PSAs on TV, radio, and social media.
Traffic safety enforcement will also pick up this week, as South Carolina Highway Patrol begins its “Sober or Slammer” campaign to target impaired driving over the holiday travel period.
That will mean more law enforcement on the roads and DUI checkpoints as Highway Patrol teams up with other state and local law enforcement agencies to stop unsafe and aggressive driving.
Troopers remind drivers that collisions and deaths are oftentimes preventable.
“They are preventable when people make a choice to not wear a seatbelt, or they make a choice to drink and drive, or they make a choice to speed excessively or taking their eyes of the road to text or scroll on their cellphone,” SCHP Commander Col. Christopher Williamson said.
The Department of Transportation said it will restrict the number of construction lane closures during the busiest parts of the holiday travel period.
But there will still be work happening on shoulders and just off the travel lanes, so SCDOT cautions drivers to be careful.
“That’s when distracted driving or impaired driving becomes a severe issue because those drivers could drift off the side of the road and strike a road worker pretty easily in today’s climate, especially with as much roadwork as we have happening across the state,” SCDOT Secretary Christy Hall said.
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