Law enforcement across both North and South Carolina gathered Sunday to kick off the 22nd Annual "Hands Across the Border," an effort to reduce the number of drinking-related traffic fatalities.
So far in 2013, 447 people have died in traffic-related crashes in South Carolina with more than half of them as a result of drinking and driving, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Master Cpl. Shannon Toole with the Myrtle Beach Police Department explained that he knows first-hand what's it like to have to sit down with a family and tell them they've lost a loved one, "I always tell them that I hope that this is the last family that I have to sit down with and explain to them that their husband, their wife, their child has died on our roadways."
Officers in other departments have dealt with these tragedies too, including First Sgt. Don Causey with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
"I've been to doors at all hours of the night, knocked on a door and had to tell a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, that they've lost someone and that's the hardest thing that we have to deal with," Causey explained.
Causey said this is all the motivation that he needs to take part in an event like "Hands Across the Border." He added that it's an amazing feeling working with so many departments towards a common goal.
"You see so many agencies working together and they're working together for that same purpose and that purpose is to save someone's life."
Events like "Hands Across the Border" are proving to work. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there were 87 fewer people killed in crashes this year compared to the same time frame in 2012.