MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Soon you might notice more troopers in traffic. The South Carolina Highway Patrol wants to have a stronger presence on roadways, and more troopers are coming to Horry County.
This comes at a necessary time, because starting Tuesday we are in the state's holiday reporting period for fatal accidents. There's some good news though, for the first time in several years, the number of fatal accidents in South Carolina is down from last year. As of December 22, 724 people have died on South Carolina highways, compared to 845 this far in the year in 2012.
Even though the state-wide number is down by more than 100 hundred, the highway patrol says it's not enough. They have a new goal: Target Zero. Troopers want to reduce the amount of roadway deaths-- to none. To do that, it takes a team effort, especially during high travel periods like the holidays. Right now there are 46 state troopers who work across Horry County roadways, and this week two more will be permanently added to make it 48. Myrtle Beach Police have 19 in the traffic division. There's strength in numbers, and local law enforcement tell WMBF News they take this time of year very seriously.
"All of Horry County and Georgetown County are working hard to keep our roadways as safe as possible," explained Sgt. Jim Allen with Myrtle Beach Police. "Because we do have a lot of travelers who come through obviously the coastal areas, and they're going to be traveling this week and next week."
The holiday enforcement campaign "Sober or Slammer" will last through New Year's Day, but the Target Zero goal is for all throughout the year. It will be a big one in Myrtle Beach, since there have been more than 20 fatal accidents this year within city limits.