The South Carolina Department of Public Safety began Sunday an increased enforcement effort to reduce speed-related deaths and collisions on the roadways. The campaign in conjunction with four other Southeastern states is known as Operation Southern Shield and continues through July 20.
In 2018, there were 44,810 speed-related collisions on South Carolina roadways, and more than 36% of all fatal roadway crashes in the state were speed-related.
As of July 14, 500 people have died on South Carolina highways, compared to 535 highway deaths during the same time period in 2018.
Operation Southern Shield was developed by NHTSA Region 4 in 2017 and focuses on the heavy summer travel period when the rate of fatal and injury crashes within the Southeastern United States is higher than any other time of the year.
During the 2018 week of enforcement (July 14-21) there were seven speed-related deaths on South Carolina roads, compared to 10 during a comparable week in 2016 (prior to the implementation of the campaign). There was also a reduction in total fatalities, from 21 to 18, during the same period. A total number of 6,367 speeding citations were issued by state and reporting local law enforcement agencies in July 2018.
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For the 2019 campaign, SCDPS has produced two new paid social media ads focusing on speed enforcement. The ads focus on the personal consequences of speeding and feature the tagline, “Speeding takes you nowhere fast.”
Contrary to what many drivers seem to believe and beyond the established danger of speeding, it really doesn't get you there much faster.
Among good reasons to slow down, Autobytel Inc. offers these numbers: A driver traveling 20 miles in a 60 mph zone saves only 1.5 minutes by going 65 — 2.9 minutes by going 70 — 4 minutes speeding at 75 mph — 5 minutes at 80 mph — and 5.9 minutes speeding at 85 mph.
Before you speed, consider other reasons not to do so:
- To save lives. Higher speeds mean more accidents and more fatalities — period. Overall, about a third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents involve at least one driver who was speeding.
- To save your own life. If you're traveling 10 mph above the average speed on the road, you're six times more likely to be involved in a crash. The chances of death or serious injury double for every 10 mph over 50 mph a vehicle travels. A frontal impact, for example, at 35 mph is a third more severe than one at 30 mph.
- To save gas. The faster you drive, the more fuel you burn. At speeds above 55 mph, fuel economy plummets rapidly. Slowing down from 65 to 55 increases your gas mileage by roughly 20%.
- Because speeding isn't a "big-city" problem. Nearly 60% of fatal crashes occur on two-lane, undivided roads, and rural local roads are five times as dangerous as urban interstates. Rural citizens, meanwhile are 2-1/2 times as likely to be killed on highways than their urban counterparts. Overall, the fatality rate on local roads is more than three times the rate on interstates.
- Because speeding contributes to road rage. Summer driving means chaotic, congested roads, scorching temperatures and screaming kids. Throw speeding into the mix and you're contributing to that growing American crime: road rage.
AND because you may be caught in speeding crackdowns such as Operation Southern Shield, which will cost you in the way of an expensive ticket.