Troopers seeing results from efforts to keep highways safe

Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 8:15 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Troopers on both sides of the Savannah River are working together in hopes of reducing the number of drunken drivers on the road.

It comes as we mark the end of what’s historically the 100 deadliest days of the year on highways.

The long Labor Day weekend marked the end of one of the busiest summers of travel we’ve seen in a while.

Even with more people on the road, the South Carolina Highway Patrol says there have been fewer fatalities over the past 100 days compared to previous years.

Coming out of the pandemic is one of the reasons more people hit the road this summer, Master Trooper Brian Lee says.

“When the pandemic and stuff was going on, obviously people were not traveling as much, but we have seen a trend of higher motorists,” Lee said.

Even with more travel, fatal accidents declined in South Carolina.

“We’re trending in the positive direction,” Lee said, “because anytime we can reduce fatalities and save lives, that’s one of the main things that we want to do, and so we feel like this summer’s been pretty successful.”

With 233 fatal collisions this summer, that’s around 90 fewer than 2020 and 2021.

Lee says a major change this summer was to let drivers see officers are out there on the roads.

“We want to change people’s behaviors, whether they’re always doing the right thing,” Lee said. “A strong presence on the highway … helps to reduce people’s bad driving decisions.”

Over Labor Day weekend, South Carolina and Georgia officials looked to reduce bad driving decisions partnering in Hands Across the Border.

“We had a safety checkpoint, and it was allowing us to establish an opportunity for motorists to see that we as they are joining states that we work together in order to make sure that we will our roadways to be safe,” Lee said.