HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - According to the U.S. Census, Horry County has seen a 27% growth in its population over the last decade.
More people also means more drivers and speeding issues across the county.
The Horry County Police Department now hopes new technology will help them isolate where the speeding issues are and address them.
“Speeding doesn’t change, the erratic behavior of drivers,” said Horry County Police Chief Joe Hill. “It’s just the increase of drivers we have here. With the population explosion in Horry County, we’re getting multiple complaints on a regular basis of speeding in neighborhoods.”
Hill said he has officers writing up 75 speeding tickets some days, and he sometimes finds himself frequently making traffic stops.
“Myself, my deputy chiefs, captains, every officer out there is engaged in re-educating our drivers,” said Hill. “Not necessarily as a revenue generator, but as a warning to slow down or change behaviors.”
HCPD recently received three new speed trailers from a grant, which are changing the way officers address speeding concerns.
“As a car passes through the radar trailer, we note the time, date and speed, so we can develop patterns on when best to place an officer out there to do actual enforcement,” said Hill.
Officers put the trailers out in locations where they get frequent complaints.
Hill also said having enough officers has been another piece of the puzzle. He added the department hasn’t been able to staff enough officers to keep up with the population trend.
Fortunately, a COP grant recently created 15 new officer positions to add to the existing 245.
Hill says now that school is back in session, there’s going to be more of an emphasis on controlling speeding in the school zones.
For example, one of the new speed trailers is just a few blocks away from North Myrtle Beach Middle School.
“We’re doing the best we can to keep up, but everywhere you go, they’re building new communities, which means new drives, and that means folks that occasionally won’t obey the speed limit, so we have our work cut out for us,” he said.