South Congaree, SC (Paul Kirby) – A dump truck driver learned the hard way that the Town of South Congaree is serious about cleaning up its streets and keeping them that way. He learned from a South Congaree police officer after driving through town and dropping some of his load.
The driver of the truck had no tarp over a load of limbs he was carrying when a large bundle of those fell off at Main Street and Daniel Road. They fell in a lane of traffic completely blocking it and causing a hazard. Motorists began to brake hard or swerve to avoid the pile. Luckily, a driver saw the load fall from the truck and was able to get its tag number. He immediately called the police.
The driver of the car that witnessed this then turned around and blocked the lane with his car while a good Samaritan teenager pulled the pile into the median. Within moments, a police officer was on the scene helping to run the truck down. Its driver could be issued several tickets for not following common rules of hauling a load.
South Congaree Police Chief Josh Shumpert said late Tuesday, “We catch lots of drugs coming through and other serious crimes. That doesn’t mean that we are going to let careless or lazy drivers trash our streets. Our council is serious about improving the appearance of our town, and we hear them loud and clear!”
Shumpert said that South Congaree’s Main Street is a major route for trucks heading to the Lexington County Garbage Transfer Station and several C&D landfills. “The town doesn’t want to appear unwelcoming to any driver. They stop, eat, buy from our stores; Many of them are regulars at our businesses. The greatest majority are professional and tarp their loads or ensure trash isn’t on top of the truck,” Chief Shumpert said. “It’s the few that give the others a bad rap and we’re not going to let that happen.”
Shumpert said that even citizens hauling loads in trucks and on trailers must tarp their loads. If they don’t, they could be facing stiff fines. Lexington County is also actively watching for this and has even held events where they gave away free tarps, and warning tickets, to drivers who showed up at convenience station without one.
“A ten-dollar tarp at the hardware store could save you hundreds in fines,” Chief Shumpert said. “That tarp also helps make our roads and streets look better, and that’s important to us,” he concluded.