Thousands travel to Darlington; police say patience is key

Darlington, SC - By Kyle Grainger - bio | email

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) – Race weekend has finally arrived at the Darlington Raceway, and troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol say patience is key when traveling to the track for the race.

Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins, spokesman for the SCHP, says pedestrian traffic will be their biggest concern as fans travel to and from the racetrack across busy roads.

"[We have to] make sure we're watching for those pedestrians before and especially after the race. It'll be dark," said Collins. "We want to make sure we look after our pedestrians and then be safe on the way home."

Collins says troopers will be stationed at busy intersections to help direct motorists and help pedestrians cross the street. He says troopers will get fans to the race in plenty of time for it to start, adding traffic is much easier to manage with a nighttime race.

"When the race went from daytime to nighttime, we actually saw the crowds instead of coming in all at one time, trickle in during the day. It certainly makes that commute easier for everybody," he said. "But if you're coming to the track, give yourself a little extra time. The plan [the SCHP] has in place is to get everyone [into the track] in time for the race, and when the race is over, we'll certainly get you out of there as fast as we can."

Collins says he also wants to remind those who may drink while at the race to have a designated driver to take them home.

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