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Troopers in midst of 100 Deadly Days of Summer

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Motorists urged to use caution on state highways

Motorists across the state are being reminded of the 100 Deadly Days of Summer, which began Memorial Day weekend.
The S.C. Department of Public Safety uses that name because the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day can be a time when fatalities start to rise due to heavy vacation and out-of-state travel, and the influx of motorcycle traffic due to bike weeks.
Fatalities are currently 91 behind last year at this time, according to the Department of Public Safety; it’s the parent agency for the S.C. Highway Patrol.
“The goal is to have zero traffic deaths by approaching traffic safety from every angle,” said Leroy Smith, director of the Department of Public Safety.
“We have had a promising start to the year and we want to see that trend continue through the busy summer travel months,” Smith said. “But that means we cannot get complacent.”
Troopers and other law officers saturated the roads during the recent 102-hour travel holiday. Officers held public-safety checkpoints, used radar to detect speeding and concentrated heavily on nighttime safety belt enforcement.
The Department of Public Safety also kicked off its Buckle Up SC campaign last week, emphasizing nighttime safety belt use – when the risk of being involved in a fatal collision goes up.
Statistics show that fatalities increase at night while safety belt use drops among that group. Preliminary statistics for 2008 through 2012 show 64 percent of motorists killed at night were unbuckled at the time of the crash, compared to 45 percent who were unrestrained and killed during daytime crashes.
The Department of Public Safety has launched TV and radio advertisements focusing on safety belts and DUI. The agency has also begun the LOOK campaign, which focuses on reducing deaths related to motorcyclists, mopeds and pedestrians.
“So much of our success depends on motorists and passengers taking personal responsibility for their behavior in the vehicle,” Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver said.