HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina Highway Patrol said traffic fatality numbers show the state's roads are safer so far this year compared to the subsequent period in 2015.
It's the first time in three years that is the case.
After a busy first three months of 2016, the numbers are in for the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Troopers said, as of April 3, 216 people died on South Carolina roads.
That marks a decrease in the 237 deaths registered for the same period in 2015.
"It lets us know that some of the things we're doing, we're doing right, because the fatalities are trending downward," said SCHP Cpl. Sonny Collins. "That doesn't mean we're going to stop looking."
Locally, Florence and Horry counties are seeing the same trend. Florence County cut highway deaths by four, and Horry County by one.
Collins said those numbers are harder to compare, since so many visitors travel through the area every year.
He said one way to keep the trend going is to put more troopers on the road.
Statewide, the SCHP wants to hire 100 more troopers. With around 700 working right now, that's a possible 15 percent increase in patrol.
Collins said the hope is that with more troopers on the road, that increased visibility would equate to a higher number of safer drivers and a lower number of traffic fatalities.
Another push the SCHP is making is geared toward deaths involving pedestrians.
Collins said those people are usually harder to reach, so troopers want the drivers to take ownership and be extra aware of where could be walking while they are out driving.