SCHP troopers step up patrol as holiday travel kicks in

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) — The South Carolina Highway Patrol is putting more troopers on the road as additional traffic is expected for the holiday weekend.

“We’re going to see a lot of people out,” Master Trooper Brian Lee said. “People are going to be going to the lakes. People are going to be going to the beach.”

He said that there will be a bolstered presence along South Carolina’s major roadways.

“We got everyone working,” he said. “Everybody’s going to be out. We need as many cars as possible on the road. And we want to be as visible as possible this weekend.”

Some of the things troopers will watch for the most are aggressive driving, speeding and driving under the influence.

“If they see us by the side of the road, they see us with a car stopped- then hopefully they’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, I better slow down. I better watch my speed.’ Because we want to make sure everyone makes it to their destination safely,” Master Trooper Lee said.

Troopers say that with more people on the road, the risk for collisions increases.

SCHP reports over 1,300 crashes during the 2019 July 4 holiday period.

Troopers urge drivers to use caution throughout the holiday weekend by buckling up, going to the speed limit, limiting distractions and avoiding driving after drinking alcohol.

And if you happen to be traveling by train, expect some changes from Amtrak due to the pandemic.

“We’re not selling anymore than half the seats on the train and we are far from that cutoff level now,” Amtrak spokesperson Mark Magliari told News13 during a virtual interview. “There’s plenty of room to spread out. We’ve amped up the cleaning. The air exchange that is fresh air every five minutes on our trains.”

No matter where you’re headed- or how- health officials this week had a warning for South Carolinians ahead of the holiday.

“If we’re not careful about how we move about during this holiday weekend… we could see cases rises to levels no one of us could’ve imagined,” state epidemiologist Linda Bell said Wednesday in a news conference.

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