Speed Patrol: Fifth Ave. N/US-17 Business, Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach, SC - By Jennifer Grove - bio | email

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Surfside Beach Police say drivers should be aware of the potential for accidents the intersection at Fifth Avenue North and US-17 Business in Surfside Beach because of the nature of the cross-over traffic along Frontage Road.

One WMBF News viewer called in about the area, concerned about drivers turning right at the light headed southbound despite a "No Turn on Red" sign. He said often people do not see the sign because of its size and that some people are going ahead and turning right anyway.

While the driver is concerned the sign is too small, the South Carolina Department of Transportation says they have looked into the issue and are not recommending any changes at this time.

"I do agree with that complaint," said Town Councilman Bob Childs. "It's not really at eye level; you do have to kind of really look up to see it... It's kind of like every man for himself there. Something has to be done at the Fifth Avenue intersection."

Childs says there have been a couple of ideas brought forward, but as of now he is not aware of any concrete decision as how to improve the intersection. He says the area is a part of the bigger problem of traffic flow between Business 17 and Frontage Road, noting the current town council is making it a priority to move forward with plans to make the intersections along Business 17 and Frontage Road safer for drivers.

While a larger sign is not a possibility because of wind and weight concerns, SCDOT officials say they do recommend placing a barricade at Frontage Road and Fifth Avenue to prevent turning right all together. They say that would be the most cost effective way to make the intersection safer for drivers.

For now, police in Surfside Beach are urging drivers to pay attention.

"People that are driving on the roadway there need to be careful and cautious," Public Safety Director Andy Christenson said. "You've got three people at a stop sign and they're all motioning for one another to go and then all of a sudden somebody turns off of 17; the potential there for an accident is great."

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