SCHP monitors drivers at the backgate

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Some people are concerned about safety at the Backgate intersection along the 17 Bypass because they have seen an increase in the number of aggressive drivers. Kenneth Rappeno said he spends a lot of time at the intersection and he has major concerns.

Rappeno stated, "At three or four o'clock when school is getting out and work getting out and traffic is backed up almost to the Grand Strand Mall."

Jennifer Phillips adds, "I try to avoid it entirely if I have to come to this area. I try to figure out a different way."

Drivers said they were not only concerned about the traffic congestion but also some dangerous moves near the intersection.

Rappeno explains, "They are getting into the grass and you see a lot of ruts in the median and the cones don't really do anything because people just want to get through the light as fast as they can."

Phillips said, "There are workers there so it's illegal and God forbid it's going to take someone getting killed before something happens there."

Lance Corporal Sonny Collins with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said officers are watching out for drivers who decide to take risks.

"You're not allowed to drive in those medians whatsoever and then at the backgate you're talking about a construction zone. There are reasons barrels are up there; that's for your safety as well as the construction zone workers," states Collins.

Collins said the consequences for driving in the median could be serious.

"The least of which being stopped by an officer and being ticketed for that offense but even more importantly you could be doing that and trying to save a couple of minutes and end up causing a tragedy by hitting a pedestrian, hitting a construction worker or even putting yourself in a position you don't need to be in because you don't know what's in those barrels," warns Collins.

Officers are patrolling the intersection at varying times throughout the day and night in marked and unmarked vehicles.

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