Speed Patrol: Highway 544

By Jennifer Grove - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - WMBF News responded to concerns emailed in by viewers about speeding on Highway 544 Thursday morning. The Speed Patrol focused on the area between Carolina Lakes and Coastal Carolina University where the speed limit is posted at 45 mph.

Paul Sansbury, who owns Top Ten Wings and Burgers just off the highway, sees the daily rush of cars flying by his storefront on 544.

"Everybody's probably going 9 mph over the speed limit and its 45," Sansbury said.

The WMBF News radar gun caught drivers cruising at an average of around 5 mph over and one car even flying through at 72 mph.

Beyond his concern about safety, Sansbury says the speeding is hurting business in the area.

"We need to make this area more of a community," he said. "People need to slow down and see what's going on around here."

Sansbury says he is afraid that people look at the road as an interstate rather than a highway with people like Louis Kutlus living off the main drag.

"Sometimes it's very hectic out there," Louis told WMBF News. "You have to be careful of everybody."

His neighbor Georgia Sexton agrees that it can be difficult merging into traffic. She says she is thankful the entrance into Carolina Lakes has a turn lane unlike many subdivision entrances along the highway.

Sexton thinks the limit should stay where it is at even though traffic seems to be itching for a higher limit. Kutlus says it is up to the drivers to keep the road safe.

"You know you've got to adhere to 45 mph, it's that simple." Kutlus said.

As for Sansbury, he wants to send a clear signal to drivers by putting up caution lights along the busy highway.

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