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Home  |  News  |  Patrols increased for holiday

Patrols increased for holiday
Friday, July 1, 2011

AIKEN, SC - State and local law enforcement officers are teaming on area roadways and waterways over the holiday weekend in an effort to prevent impaired driving, collisions and drowning deaths.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and local law enforcement officers will be increasing patrols during what has historically been a heavy travel holiday.

Aiken Public Safety patrols will be looking for impaired motorists throughout the entire weekend, when residents tend to celebrate the holiday with alcoholic beverages.

Officers will set up safety checkpoints and place a heavy emphasis on impaired driving particularly around waterways, the S.C. Highway Patrol reports.

The official holiday travel weekend begins today at 6 p.m. and ends Tuesday after midnight.

"Motorists should be on alert for increased enforcement and be vigilant about local traffic as well as interstates," the highway patrol warns.

Each driver should have his or her license, registration and proof of insurance readily available.

Troopers say people often travel shorter distances to local lakes, state parks and other waterways as well as the coastal regions to enjoy the July 4 holiday weekend.

According to statistics provided by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there have been 377 people killed on roadways in the state this year compared to 381 at this time last year.

Last Fourth of July weekend, six people were killed during a 78-hour period, troopers said.

The last time the holiday fell on a Monday was in 2005, and there were 17 fatalities that year.

"While fatalities are still slightly behind where they were last year, this is the time of year when we often see fatality and serious injury collisions rise as people are on the road more for summer vacations," said Highway Patrol Col. Kenny Lancaster Jr. "Driving while impaired can also rise during summer months as people party at the beach or lake and then choose to get behind the wheel."

Police typically cite motorists for speeding/too fast for conditions, DUI, failure to yield the right of way and improper/unlawful lane change.

State troopers will also be on the lookout for seat belt violations.

Source: http://www.aikenstandard.com/local/0701HolidayTrafficSAfety

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