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Lexington County Sheriff's Department and SCDPS team up to reduce highway fatalities

COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Highway Patrol and Lexington County Sheriff’s Department are increasing patrols as part of a joint enforcement initiative this Memorial Day weekend to prevent highway fatalities and collisions.

“Memorial Day is historically a heavy travel holiday as it signifies the beginning of summer for many,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “We are working with Sheriff Koon on additional enforcement to focus on core violations that are resulting in collisions and fatalities in Lexington County.”

The joint enforcement efforts began May 11 and will continue through the weekend of July 4, 2018.

"As we honor those who gave their lives to protect and serve our country this weekend, we’re asking all drivers to help us prevent senseless tragedies on Lexington County roads," Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. "Drive sober, wear your seat belt, slow down, obey traffic laws and use extra caution when you get behind the wheel this weekend. Deputies will be out with Troopers all weekend watching for drivers who are violating the law and endangering the lives of other travelers."

“In addition to scheduled traffic enforcement, I’m encouraging every deputy who will be on duty this weekend to be extra vigilant when it comes to keeping the roads safe as they’re on routine patrol.”

So far this year, there have been 34 highway fatalities in Lexington County. Preliminary results show that 57 percent of these crashes were alcohol and/or drug-related. And while safety belt compliance statewide is over 90 percent, many of those killed in Lexington County were not wearing a safety belt.

The top three violations that troopers and deputies will focus on with their enforcement includes DUI, safety belt use and speeding. Also:

  • The highest number of collisions occur between 9 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday.

  • Our statistics also show that many of the these crashes are taking place on secondary roadways.

SCHP urges the public to pay attention to simple driving behaviors that can prevent collisions:

  • Use of a turn signal;

  • Allowing traffic to merge;

  • Yielding to traffic;

  • Not tailgating;

  • Reporting impaired or reckless drivers to *HP (*47).

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