COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is holding events at rest areas and welcome centers around the state this week to remind motorists to buckle up and drive safely during one of the busiest travel holidays of the year.
The official travel period will last 102 hours, kicking off at 6 p.m. Nov. 23, and continuing through Sunday, Nov. 27, at midnight. There were nine fatalities on South Carolina roadways during Thanksgiving weekend last year.
So far this year, there have been 877 highway fatalities year-to-date compared to 889 fatalities at this time in 2015.
“We are pleased to report that fatalities are down somewhat going into the long holiday weekend,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “This is good news, but we encourage motorists to remain vigilant and help us prevent future highway deaths and collisions by making responsible decisions behind the wheel.”
The South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) and State Transport Police (STP) will have a strong enforcement presence, including troopers in administrative and support roles, who will patrol during some of the heaviest travel periods.
Motorists can monitor real-time traffic from the Highway Patrol at: www.scdps.gov/schp/webcad.asp.
Troopers report that some of the primary violations they see during this time are failure to buckle up, speed and impaired driving. SCHP encourages motorists to ensure their vehicle is in good working condition. Rest up before a long trip and take frequent rest breaks – especially when traveling after a heavy meal.
Motorists are asked to report suspected impaired drivers to local law enforcement or call *HP (*47). SCDPS also urges motorists to move over for emergency vehicles and first responders to give them space to work safely.
The Highway Patrol and State Transport Police are also holding their annual Thanksgiving safety events at rest areas and welcome centers around the state from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 23, explaining the dangers of holiday travel to motorists and distributing safety literature. For a list of locations, visit www.scdps.gov/comm/nr2016/112216.html.