Officers announced a new campaign Wednesday to target aggressive drivers in the area after a string of fatal wrecks in Horry County.
Patrolmen from the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Myrtle Beach Police Department and Horry County Police Department will be out in force looking for aggressive drivers to “target zero traffic deaths” this weekend.
“Beginning tomorrow, motorists will see more blue lights as an enhanced enforcement begins in an effort to stop aggressive driving,” Major Melvin Warren of the Highway Patrol said at a press conference Wednesday. “Our target zero goal is to reduce fatalities and collisions on our states and roadways caused by aggressive and careless driving behaviors.”
Twelve people have died in fatal collisions throughout the county so far this year, according to the S.C. Department of Public Safety.
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“Many drivers, whether they are local or traveling through our state all seem to have one thing in common. They are in a hurry,” Warren said. “They are too often making bad choices behind the wheel that have deadly consequences.”
Officers from local agencies will focus on aggressive and distracted driving behaviors “that put us all in harm’s way,” he said. During the three-day blitz, patrolmen will keep a close eye on heavily traveled roadways, including the U.S. 17 and U.S. 501 corridors.
“Our goal is to stop aggressive driving so we can stop the tragedy of highway fatalities,” said Lt. Greg Caulder of the Highway Patrol. “Last year, 70 people died on Horry County roadways.”
“We need every driver to first take an inventory of their own behaviors behind the wheel such as slowing down, of course buckling up, leaving more space, signaling when you make a lane change and please don’t pick a fight with the driver who cuts you off. In short, get back to the basics of courteous driving,” Caulder said.
“Our goal is to use proactive enforcement with an eye towards changing driving behavior in ultimately reducing traffic deaths,” said Capt. Gil Owens, who leads the statewide target zero team with the Highway Patrol. “We need every motorist to join us.”
The city of Myrtle Beach has had two fatal wrecks so far this year, said Myrtle Beach police Chief Warren Gall, adding that his team looks forward to working with troopers to target zero deaths this weekend.
The Horry County Police Department is dedicating 18 officers to the initiative this weekend, said HCPD Chief Deputy Lance Winburn. “We look forward to this opportunity, hoping it will make a difference in our community.”