With the Memorial Day weekend getting started for people all across the United States, the South Carolina Highway Patrol is stepping up their efforts to keep people safe. Highway Patrol Lance Corporal Jeff Gaskin looks back on Memorial Weekend 2008.
“We had 879 accidents just over the weekend last over Memorial Day,” said Gaskin. “We had 11 mortalities. So that gives you any clue how dangerous a time this is just over one weekend. When you start looking at Memorial Day as a whole just last year during Memorial Day weekend, those 11 mortalities, 2 were motorcycles, so that means nine actually had access to a seat belt–not counting the motorcycles–and of those nine victims, only one was actually wearing a seat belt.”
The 100 Deadly Days of Summer starts this weekend in the Palmetto State. The campaign is designed by the Highway Patrol to try and protect the citizens and guest of the Palmetto State during the peak driving season. Gaskin talks about the numbers from the 100 Deadly Days of Summer in 2008.
“241 people were killed from Memorial Day to Labor Day last year,” he said. “Over two people a day dying on our highways and, in South Carolina. over half of our mortalities are alcohol related.”
Gaskin says how they decide where they will beef up their patrol. According to Gaskin, “We use a lot stats to determine where the collisions are occurring. We try to be proactive but also they go where the traffic is going to go. Most of these troopers are working close with other law enforcement agencies, they are very seasoned, they know where the hot spots are at. (they know)
where people are going to be doing the most drinking at. They know the roads that lead to and from (those places).
“It’s important that we patrol those areas.”
The 100 days runs till the Labor Day Holiday.
Special thanks to Bobby Rosinski of affiliate AM 1340 WRHI/FM 94.3, Rock Hill.