News 12 First at 5, May 25, 2007
SOUTH CAROLINA-- For the first time in more than seven years, the South Carolina Highway Patrol is beefing up its manpower this holiday weekend. They're returning to their Trooper Every 10 program.
It means buckle up and slow down, and of course, use common sense while out on the roads this Memorial Day weekend. South Carolina Highway Patrol is out if full force to make sure you do just that.
Seeing troopers on the side of Interstate is sure to be one of the common scenes along South Carolina's Interstate 20 this weekend.
As state troopers are posted every ten miles along the interstate for the next 78 hours; taking no chances to make sure safety comes first.
Trooper Scott Edgeworth explains. "By having a trooper there every ten miles it shows there is an enforcement effort going on. Also along with a safety conscious driver. They look at an officer and say there's an officer there I need to slow down."
Slow down and buckle up to protect precious cargo traveling through the state; cargo like Bill Kelly's five grandchildren. "Well there is a lot of distractions with little ones but basically it makes me be very focused and makes me drive more carefully. We all wear seatbelts and we're conscious of that and conscious of others on the road."
Others like Barbara Thomas and her husband who are traveling to South Carolina from Missouri. "I've seen about three policemen already so they're out there looking."
Looking out for you and your family one car at a time. "I would love to meet on Tuesday and say there were zero traffic deaths. I would love for that because on fatality is just one too many." says Trooper Edgworth.
Seatbelt usage, excessive speeding, drivers driving under the influence and of course aggressive driving such as improper lane changes and tailgating are the four major things troopers will be looking for this weekend.
Although this holiday weekend is only a 78 hour period the death toll numbers are alarming. Last year, 11 people died on South Carolina roads over the holiday weekend. Those deaths coupled with an increase in traffic fatalities this year across the state, almost 400 fatalities total, are why troopers aren't taking any chances this Memorial Day.