South Carolina Highway Patrol prepares for busy Memorial Day weekend

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) is preparing for an increase in drivers on the roads with an increase of troopers.

“As things kind of loosen up more, we’re gonna have more visitors come to Myrtle Beach, we’re gonna have more people in the Grand Strand area, so we’re gonna see more cars, we’re gonna see more people,” South Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper Brian Lee said.

Trooper Lee said an increase of crashes and fatalities always starts around this time.

“It’s always an uptick. Anytime that we start getting into may through memorial day through labor day,” Lee said.

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, 879 crashes occurred during last year’s Memorial Day period. Fifteen of those were fatal. Lee said the top three contributing factors are driving too fast, failure to yield, and DUI.

Lee said the SCHP is teaming up with all agencies to look for distracted driving, motorcycle safety, children in hot cars, DUI, speeding, and people not wearing seat belts.

The Buckle Up, South Carolina campaign started Monday and runs through June 6.

“One of the things we see is people get ejected from the vehicle and anytime you get ejected from the vehicle, your chances of survival are greatly reduced so we encourage people to wear that seatbelt,” Lee said.

By this point in the year, 389 people have been killed in car crashes in South Carolina. According to SCHP data, 128 of them weren’t wearing a seat belt.

There have been 359 fatal crashes so far in 2021. In 2020, there were 295, and 363 in 2019.

“It takes just about a second for you to look down and look back up and the car in front of you is stopped and before you know it you run right into the back of them,” Lee said.

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