SCHP encouraging caution for July 4 travel

South Carolina - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – Fatalities on South Carolina highways have declined since the beginning of the 100 Deadly Days of Summer, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Officials say as of June 30, there have been 50 highway fatalities compared to 99 during a similar period in 2009.

Since the Highway Patrol kicked off its partnership with SCDNR on Memorial Day weekend, the Highway Patrol says they have made more than 1,300 arrests for driving under the influence.  They also say safety belt usage has set a record in South Carolina topping 85 percent.

AAA Carolinas forecasted travel to be up by 12 percent this July Fourth weekend compared to last year.

The official travel period for the holiday weekend begins at 6 p.m. Friday night and runs through midnight Monday. Last year police say 12 people died on the roadways during this time.

Highway Patrol Col. Kenny Lancaster Jr. says motorists should be aware of increased enforcement throughout the state with all administrative troopers and staff working the roadways during this heavy travel time.

The Highway Patrol is urging motorists to do a thorough check of their tires, wiper blades, and fluid levels, especially with the extreme temperatures.

The 100 Deadly Days of Summer marks the period of time spanning from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

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