South Carolina cracks down on work-zone violators

News AASHTO Journal June 01, 2005
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South Carolina police organizations joined the state department of Transportation in stepping up work-zone enforcement recently – and the “blitz wave,” as it became known, spurred nearly 6,000 tickets for violations ranging from speeding to drunken driving.

Partners in the Work Zone Safety High Visibility Enforcement Campaign are urging motorists to use caution as Memorial Day Weekend begins the “100 Deadliest Days” on South Carolina highways.

The work-zone blitz, from April 10-30, brought in 4,052 speeding tickets, 26 DUI arrests, 26 failure-to-yield violations, 25 citations for following too closely and 1,732 other violations. The total number of violations in work zones during the period was 5,861.

Enforcement waves were conducted by the South Carolina Highway Patrol, plus officers of five county sheriff’s offices and of seven municipal police agencies.

The 2005 Work Zone Safety High Visibility Enforcement Campaign is a joint partnership of the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the state’s Department of Public Safety, the Federal Highway Administration, local law-enforcement agencies, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Networks, Carolina’s Associated General Contractors and the South Carolina Municipal Association.

The team plans three more blitz waves through the fall. A new statewide TV public service campaign also began in April, focusing on work-zone safety.

“It is critical that motorists obey the posted work zone speed limit, obey the standard traffic laws and pay close attention to the road at all times, especially in work zones,” SCDOT Executive Director Elizabeth S. Mabry said. “There are several construction projects and mowing operations under way throughout the state. Even if workers are not present, work zones can be dangerous because of lane shifts, the presence of construction equipment and other factors.”

Over the past five years, almost 10,000 traffic crashes have been reported in work zones in South Carolina, resulting in thousands of injuries and 88 deaths. Nationally, four out of five people killed in work zones are drivers or passengers.

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