SALUDA, SC - The South Carolina Highway Patrol, along with local law enforcement agencies, will continue special enforcement efforts in the Troop Two area of the state – this time in Saluda County where roadways deaths are up by one compared to last year at this time – following an overall pattern of rising fatalities in the area. Statewide fatalities have dropped since this time last year.
The enforcement emphasis will involve the Highway Patrol along with the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office, Saluda Police Department and the State Transport Police. The Highway Patrol has also recently held a special enforcement efforts in Newberry, Laurens and Greenwood counties.
There have been five fatalities in Saluda County this year compared to four at this time last year. Statewide, there have been 682 compared to 719 in 2011. The Saluda emphasis will focus on violations that are problematic in Saluda County including DUI, speed, no restraint use and inattention. Alcohol-related collisions are up 67 percent in this area (25 in 2012 compared to 15 in 2011); additionally, four of five fatality victims were unrestrained.
Capt. D.W. Yongue said the Highway Patrol is placing a special emphasis on traffic safety in the area to get the public’s attention and stop the upward trend in fatalities especially before holiday travel when fatalities typically spike.
“We cannot emphasize enough how much we need the public’s participation in this effort to save lives,” Capt. Yongue said. “You play a critical role in your own safety by making responsible decisions such as buckling up and choosing not to drink and drive. Additionally, we need your help. If you see someone driving recklessly or suspect an impaired driver, help us by calling *HP.”
Similar to the recent blitz in the other Troop Two areas, motorists can expect to see public safety checkpoints, motorcycle units and other special enforcement efforts in areas around the county.
Capt. Yongue stressed that partnerships with local law enforcement have been the key to successful enforcement initiatives in other areas.
“Whatever we can do to enhance the citizens’ safety, we will do,” said Saluda County Sheriff Luther H. Nossett Jr. “I am happy to work with the SCHP in making the highways safer for the citizens of Saluda County.”
“The Saluda Police Department is eager to assist the SCHP and Saluda Sheriff’s Department in the joint effort to make the Saluda county roads and streets safer,” said Interim Saluda Chief Brett Long.