MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Law enforcement agencies are preparing for a weekend full of travelers and traffic for Myrtle Beach Bike Week. Whether you're on a bike or in your car, they'll be watching your driving.
Law enforcement plans to focus on two areas: where the bikers will be, and also on all the major traveling highways. Friday is a big travel day, with bikers coming for the start of the rally and also tourists heading in for Mother's Day weekend. With that kind of mix, expect to see troopers stationed on all the major routes coming in from the Pee Dee and Charleston. Highway 501, Highway 31 and 17 Bypass will be the main spots.
For the actual rally enforcement, most of the presence will be on the south end, from Myrlte Beach down through Murrells Inlet. There have been talks of bigger biker numbers for this year's rally, and WMBF News reporter Alex Holley asked the Highway Patrol if this was affecting their patrol plans.
Lance Corporal Sonny Collins said it's normally the plan to keep the number of troopers comparable to the big rally turnout years in the past.
"We have numbers based on that," said Collins. "And that's how we come. We come prepared for the big numbers so if they come, we're ready. If not, then we can adjust from there."
The agencies aren't the only ones getting ready for a busy week. Business owners, closer to the Marshwalk, say they're ready for things to speed up quickly.
"This weekend small groups will start coming in," explained Mike Foster, owner of The Crooked Tavern in Murrells Inlet. "But I anticipate by Tuesday, maybe Wednesday of next week, we'll be in full swing."
Either way, law enforcement plans to be present for a while. From Friday on, troopers will have about three straight weeks of heavier enforcement on the roadways.