MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - If you've driven along Robert M. Grissom Parkway in Myrtle Beach, you can get caught up in what seems like a race track.
The speed limit is only 45 miles per hour, but many drivers are treating Grissom more like an interstate. Drivers are being regularly cited for driving 15 to 25 miles over the speed limit here along the parkway.
It's the city police department's job to keep everyone driving at the posted speed limit, and in turn reduce the risk of accidents. So the department takes it very seriously to patrol the area and cite you if you speed.
The department reviews statistics on how many accidents are happening, where, and what's triggering them. If they see a trend at a certain intersection or along a certain stretch of road, then they'll send their traffic unit to confirm if in fact that is the problem.
Then they will dedicate more of their patrols to that area. The department also listens to motorists. If they get calls saying drivers are speeding in a certain area, that's another indication of where to focus.
"Coming from the information that we gather from the traffic accident reports and also citizen complaints, we may have an officer that will focus their attention in a particular area for that day," said Lt. Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department. "That way we can reduce the speed limits on the roadway and in hopes of minimizing the accidents that occur on the roadway."
When it comes to Grissom Parkway, Lt. Crosby says they do make it a priority to help control speeding here, especially since there is a school along the route. This can add extra traffic during peak hours.
Grissom's 45 miles-per-hour speed limit drops down to 25 throughout the school zone.
Speed limits are based on the worst-case condition of the road. So when you're driving on Grissom in torrential rains, ice or fog, traffic engineers determined that 45 miles per hour is the fastest you should be driving in order to stay safe.
There are many factors which go into setting a speed limit. First, they consider the design of the road. For Grissom, it gets very curvy along the north end near the Bypass. Jeff Thomas, the traffic coordinator with the City of Myrtle Beach, says they see many accidents in that section from people losing control and hitting guardrails, because they were going too fast to handle the curves.
Also, they take into account what the conditions of the road are like when it's wet. Once again, the curvy part of Grissom is where it's most dangerous when wet.
Business owners and workers along Grissom say that as the years have gone by, they've seen more and more people use this road, and in turn, they've seen more accidents.
"Unfortunately a lot of times, people are in a hurry -- maybe it's to get to the airport, or they're late for school, or whatever. And we have seen quite a few accidents out here," said Heidi Vukov, owner of Croissants Bakery. "Typically the ones that we see are mostly in the mornings. So I would urge people to just be really careful."
In the end, setting these speed limits are all about keeping you safe, and minimizing accidents in the area.