“This year we are already up 50 fatalities in the state,” said Trooper Hannah Wimberly of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Trooper Wimberly says that’s a far cry from their goal of “Target Zero.”
“If people continue to drink and drive, if people continue to not wear their seat-belt, we’re going to continue to see the rise in fatalities.”
But her and the rest of the SCHP are out here trying to get ahead of the busy July 4th holiday travel, where more than 600,000 people are expected to hit the roads.
“We’re out there doing proactive things like checkpoints, checkpoints at boat ramps, check points near local bars, we’re going to be proactive to try and get these drivers arrested before they actually get out on the road and kill someone.”
Highway patrol says the other thing you have to remember is that folks aren’t just partying at night, they could be impaired at any time of the day, so its important for you to be aware of your surroundings.
“Since we did have seven fatalities last weekend that should be an eye opener that people are out here driving intoxicated, and people are always out here, it doesn’t have to be at 2 o’clock in the morning, its 3 o’clock in the afternoon as well.”
Wimberly says there are simple things you can do to keep yourself, friends, and family safe this Independence Day.
“You know you’re going out there to have a good time, you know you’re going to be partaking in alcoholic beverages,so have a plan before you go, have a sober driver.”
And if you do see something suspicious, do not keep it to yourself.
“If you get behind someone who could possibly be intoxicated, call *47, that’s *HP for highway patrol, it will reach directly to our dispatch center, and we will try to get those people pulled over or another agency to do that.”