Law enforcement officers accelerate traffic enforcement efforts
Since the beginning of 2018, more than 20 people have lost their lives on Berkeley County roadways. The fatalities resulted from speeding, impaired driving and unrestrained vehicle occupants, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO). Last week, both the BCSO and the S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) decided to amp up efforts to curb the problem – which also includes numerous aggressive driving incidents, reckless driving, and excessive speeding complaints from citizens.
From Monday, Aug. 13 through Friday, Aug. 17, SCHP officers and BCSO deputies conducted a county-wide “traffic enforcement saturation” initiative targeting errant motorists across Berkeley County. The law enforcement push affected key areas that ranged from Daniel Island to Clements Ferry Road to Bethera. Based on a report from the two agencies, the initiative led to 25 arrests, 366 warnings, and 892 citations.
“On any given day, my office receives numerous complaints from citizens of Berkeley County about aggressive driving, reckless driving,” said Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis. “The complaints have increased tremendously in the last month.”
Lewis added that, if the initiative is successful, it could continue this week.
The areas that saw the most police activity were the spots that had the most complaints and accidents.
“I will not tell you what areas of the county we’ll be in, but these areas that will see these deputies and these troopers, they are going to make a significant impact on those communities and those roadways,” said Lewis.
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department is conducting these efforts in partnership with the S.C. Highway Patrol. Highway Patrol Troop Six Commander Captain J.T. Manley mentioned that almost half of the fatal traffic collisions seen in Berkeley County were related to drugs and alcohol.
“All are here to try and accomplish one goal, and that goal is target zero. Zero deaths is the number we’re looking for,” said Manley.
“We need the public’s help in being a responsible driver. It is your responsibility as a driver to be responsible for your actions,” he added.