NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach police are warning everyone to drive cautiously as traffic increases through the tourist season.
The city of North Myrtle Beach released a graph showing traffic numbers during the two busiest weekends since 2009.
In 2014, the city saw the most accidents with 88 traffic accidents happening between Harley Week and Memorial Day Weekend.
Since then, those numbers have declined to 73 in 2019, but the goal is always to see a decrease in crashes. Chief Greg Purden said the first and most important step in doing that is awareness.
“If you’re going to drink, don’t drive," Purden said. "We had a couple of traffic homicides this past month and they were alcohol-related.”
Purden said it’s vital that if you do plan on drinking that you use either a designated driver or a ride-sharing service to get home. And this goes for operating a golf cart as well.
Another major driving tip is to pay attention when you're behind the wheel of any type of vehicle, especially on the secondary roads coming to and from the beach.
On May 30, a crash involving a golf cart and a truck left one person dead on 13th Avenue.
“The golf cart, like many golf carts, was traveling here on Edge Drive where a vehicle came through here thinking the golf cart had a four-way stop and it would have to stop,” said North Myrtle Beach police Lance Cpl. Aaron Jones. “But there wasn’t, so the vehicle continued through the intersection and the vehicles collided.”
A 60-year-old man was killed in this accident and another person was sent to the hospital. The driver of the truck was cited for violation of the right of way but will not face any criminal charges.
Jones said a huge piece of advice he has for any driver is to know the laws, especially when you’re in a vehicle that isn’t legal for all roads in the city.
“Golf carts have to travel along secondary roads, like Edge Drive here,” Jones said. “They can’t drive along state-maintained roads like SC 65 which is our boulevard here all the way to Sea Mountain Highway. They have to travel during daylight hours, they can’t be out at night. This is a huge thing because a lot of people think that since you have turn signals and headlights you can be out at night, but you can’t.”
“It really is a great place to visit and a great place to be but we want people to be aware of their surroundings,” Purden said.
If you have any questions regarding the rules and regulations through North Myrtle Beach, you can contact the police department.