COLUMBIA — The S.C. Department of Public Safety will partner with law enforcement from neighboring Southeastern states as well as local agencies for a strong emphasis on DUI and other unsafe driving behaviors during the long Labor Day weekend.
There were 16 fatalities during the Labor Day holiday period in 2019. The top three contributing factors that led to collisions were driving too fast for conditions, failure to yield the right of way and driving under the influence. For additional information about traffic deaths in South Carolina, visit our Fatality Dashboard: https://fatality-count-scdps.hub.arcgis.com/
Labor Day is often a heavy travel holiday as families take one last summer trip. The weekend caps off what law enforcement calls the “100 Deadly Days of Summer,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day during which traffic fatalities historically increase. On August 21st, the state kicked off its Sober or Slammer impaired driving campaign to help reduce DUI collisions leading into – and during -- the holiday weekend.
“Labor Day is typically a busy time on our roads especially around arteries leading to our beaches and lakes,” said SCDPS Acting Director Robert Woods, IV. “Our Highway Patrol troopers and State Transport Police officers will be working with our partners in law enforcement this weekend to prevent collisions and fatalities, but we need the public’s help to ensure a safe end to summer travel.”
Overall highway fatalities in South Carolina have fallen this year compared to 2019. There have been 614 people killed on S.C. roadways this year compared to 644 at this time in 2019.
For the summer travel period (May 25th - August 31st), there have been 306 fatalities compared to 266 during the same time in 2019.
SCHP Col. Chris Williamson said that being a defensive driver and staying alert for impaired drivers could have a significant impact on roadway safety this holiday.
“Motorists should follow the posted speed limits; avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as weaving in and out of lanes or tailgating and avoid distractions behind the wheel. Always designate a sober driver and call *HP to report suspected drunk drivers.” Signs of impaired driving can include: driving too fast or too slowly; driving erratically, weaving in and out of lanes; crossing the center line or briefly drifting off the roadway.
State Transport Police Col. Leroy Taylor urges caution when driving around commercial motor vehicles.
“As truck drivers continue to transport much-needed goods and supplies across our state this weekend, the State Transport Police will help ensure that trucks are in compliance with state and federal safety regulations,” Taylor said. “We remind motorists that large trucks and buses need more stopping distance and motorists should be aware and stay clear of blind spots to the front, rear and side of large trucks.”
In the weeks leading up to Labor Day, state and local law enforcement agencies have intensified their efforts to crack down on drunk driving and reduce DUI-related traffic deaths in South Carolina as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.