Four people have lost their lives in Clarendon County since Jan. 1. With increased traffic around the Fourth of July holiday, the South Carolina Highway Patrol does not want to see that number increase.
“We’re asking everyone to be smart,” said Lance Cpl. Brent Kelly with the South Carolina Highway Patrol. “Don’t make bad choices. Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.”
The SCHP will be out in full force on the Fourth of July, as well as the following weekend, with checkpoints and heavy saturation targeting drunk and impaired drivers.
“We’ll be working with local law enforcement agencies in an effort to cut down on fatalities and to enforce traffic laws,” Kelly said.
“We’ll definitely be assisting them,” said Clarendon County Sheriff Randy Garrett. “Our officers will be helping with the checkpoints and any traffic-related emergencies.”
As of June 19, South Carolina has two more fatalities involving motorcyclists and pedestrians compared with the same period last year.
“We’re asking motorists to be careful when approaching pedestrians and to be more aware of motorcyclists on the highway,” Kelly added. “We’re seeing an increase in the number of motorcycle and pedestrian accidents and that’s something we’d like to end.”
More than 65 percent of the fatalities in South Carolina were not wearing seatbelts, Kelly said.
“It’s the law,” he said, “and it does save lives. Motorists and passengers need to hook up even if they’re driving around the block. An accident can happen in a split second.”
In regards to single cab pickup trucks that typically have just three seatbelts, the youngest needs to be in the seatbelts.
“The children go up front, starting with the youngest,” Kelly said. “If anyone has to ride in the back, they are to ride down inside the bed of the truck.”
Kelly added that if it’s necessary for children to ride in the bed of the truck they need to be accompanied by an adult.
“It’s much safer to make two trips,” Kelly said. “It’s just not safe riding in the back of a truck.”