Speed Patrol: Wake-up call for drivers

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

SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation says they are working to install a new safety feature on South Carolina roadways.

South Carolina currently ranks in the top 10 for the highest percentage of run-off-road (ROR) crashes according to SCDOT.

SCDOT officials say they are installing "rumble strips" on certain four-lane divided highways across the state. SCDOT says these can reduce ROR crashes by up to 80 percent. The rumble strips are in essence a pattern of indentations along the outside line of the roadway that send noise and vibrations throughout a vehicle if they begin to veer out of the lane.

The SCDOT says they have chosen this type of rumble strip instead of a raised version because it is cheaper and the raised version has encountered some problems with snowplows in the Upstate. The rumble effect on the raised version is also prone to diminish over time.

Shannon Toole, an officer with the Myrtle Beach Police traffic division, says this is a good addition to US-17 Bypass where crews are currently working to complete the installation.

"It falls right in line with the proper signage, the proper lighting, and the reflective markers," Toole said, adding the noise and vibration will help to bring drivers' attention back to their primary duty, which is operation of the vehicle.

SCDOT spokesman Joey Riddle says when choosing the areas, they considered the condition of the pavement, whether the roads have adequate shoulders for installation, whether or not the road was scheduled for any resurfacing in the next five years, and how much residential property was located nearby.

SCDOT says the rumble strips have been installed in Horry County along US-501 between Tanger Outlets and SC-544, on US-17 Bypass from the Georgetown County line north into Myrtle Beach, and along SC-22.

In Florence County, the installations will occur at a five mile portion of SC-327 from west of 76 to S24 and for a six-mile portion of US-76 from 917 to 501.

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