Law enforcement tackles safety and security ahead of race weekend

Law enforcement tackles safety and security ahead of race weekend

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Officers were putting the finishing touches on traffic and safety plans Friday to get race fans safely to the Darlington Raceway and safely home.

"With Sunday's race being a night we know that traffic is going to trickle in during the day," South Carolina Highway Patrol Corporal Sonny Collins said.

South Carolina Highway Patrol said it's during lunch time Sunday when the biggest crowds and congestion will start in the Florence and Darlington areas.

Troopers suggest you leave early to avoid delay.

Officers from around the state are being brought in to help keep our roads safe.

"When you come up to these intersections, encountering state troopers, just follow their directions - they are going to be directing you the fastest ways into the race track," Collins said.

When it comes time to leave, troopers say they will turn some roads into a double exit, making some roads one-ways.

"Just follow those trooper's directions, everything is going to lead you into an exit pattern out of the race track. Whether it's back to Florence, Hartsville or the interstate. Everything is designed to flow that traffic out very efficiently. Just follow those directions and we will get you in the race track and out of the race track just as possible," Collins said.

Also, the South Carolina Law Enforcement division, Darlington, Florence and Hartsville Police Departments and the Florence and Darlington County Sheriff's offices are several of the agencies that will be helping with crowd control during race weekend.

Darlington Police Chief Watson said those agencies are normally dealing with DUIs and crashes.

Officers said if you are going to drink, make sure you find a safe way home. Officers also say with so much going, on you need to keep a close eye on your children

"If you bring kids with you please, please, please keep a very close eye on them. Every time I've worked the race…there have been five or six times that we've had to try and find children, and we've been 100 percent successful," Watson said.

The chief added that staying vigilant is the best thing you can do for your own safety and if you see something that's not right, report it.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.