The past two months have been particularly deadly on Orangeburg County roads and for local residents.
Headlines from TheTandD.com:
Oct 7: Man killed, child injured in Beason Road crash
Oct. 12: Motorcyclist killed in Orangeburg crash
Oct. 13: Second crash takes life
Oct. 25: Person killed, two injured in Orangeburg County crash
Nov. 29: Person killed near Bowman when vehicle hits tree, catches fire
Nov. 29: Pedestrian killed in Orangeburg County crash
Dec. 4: Neeses residents die in crash near North
Dec. 7: Two people killed in Orangeburg County crash Friday night
Dec. 8: Person killed in crash on U.S. 21 in Orangeburg County
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Sadly, the horrific toll is not out of the ordinary for the county with the state’s second most square miles – a county with among the most interstates miles in the state and a vast network or rural roads.
According to the S.C. Department of Public Safety, the county had 41 highway deaths as of Dec. 15. That’s three more than at the same time a year ago.
Statewide, the death toll is down for 2019, from 1,004 a year ago to 938. But some of the deadliest days annually remain. ‘Tis the season for holiday parties – and they can mean people driving impaired. Driving under the influence is one of the leading causes of crashes in this state and others.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety and law enforcement partners statewide will try to combat impaired driving as part of the Sober or Slammer! campaign through Jan. 1, 2020. Troopers are encouraging drivers to make a plan now for a safe ride home from parties and celebrations.
The annual Sober or Slammer! Christmas/New Year’s campaign builds on the “Drink. Drive. Die.” messaging that was introduced during the Labor Day Sober or Slammer! campaign. SCHP and local law enforcement agencies also will conduct a series of public safety checkpoints throughout the state during the New Year’s holiday period.
Motorists will see the “Drink. Drive. Die.” messages through many avenues including radio, television, digital billboard, and online/social media advertising emphasizing the serious consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol. This advertising campaign runs as a companion to enforcement.
“The holidays should be a time to enjoy family, friends, celebrations and the warmth of the season,” Highway Patrol Col. Christopher Williamson said. “We want to ensure everyone makes it home safely this holiday season, and that is why motorists will see an increase in blue lights during the holidays as we team up with local law enforcement for increased DUI enforcement.”
Williamson encourages motorists to take steps to ensure a safe ride home:
• Designate a sober driver.
• Use public transportation, such as buses and shuttles.
• Call a local cab or taxi service, or plan ahead for a taxi. (Some local towing services also offer safe rides home and will tow the driver’s car home for a fee).
• Download and use ride-share apps such as Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, etc.
On average, 300 of the 1,000 people killed each year on South Carolina roadways die as a result of impaired driving. Don’t be one of them in 2019.