MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – It's poised perfectly on Highway 17 to catch cars speeding out of Horry County into Georgetown County. But the Georgetown County Sheriff's Department patrol car is completely empty.
"It's been about a month, maybe a month and a half at the most," Larry Watson said on the first appearance of this mystery cruiser. "I noticed it sitting right outside our office here."
Georgetown County Sheriff Lane Cribb calls the vehicle a "ghost car," and it's placed at high-traffic areas to deter speeding. Watson says he just noticed the patrol car in Murrells Inlet, but Sheriff Cribb says the program has been in place throughout Georgetown County for 10 years.
"This program has had a positive effect in reducing the number of accidents in Georgetown County," Sheriff Cribb said.
But this patrol car has stayed relatively in the same spot for long periods of time. Drivers who take Highway 17 through Murrells Inlet regularly say they don't react to the patrol car as they did initially.
"I'm just used to seeing it," said motorist Ginny Reed. "But I live around here, so I try not to speed anyway."
Sheriff Cribb warns that drivers shouldn't be complacent just because the patrol cars are empty; each one is equipped with active radar.