Summer screams "seatbelt safety" in South Carolina
Fri, 16 May 2014 04:11:02 GMT —
Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will be on high alert now that the 100 Deadly Days of Summer are upon us.
It's the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when our area usually sees a sharp spike in the number of fatalities on the roads.
The state of South Carolina's seat belt law will be enforced by even more by law enforcement through the Buckle Up, South Carolina: It's the Law and It's Enforced campaign between May 19th and June 1st.
Officers say hundreds of lives could have been saved last year if people took a few extra seconds to buckle their seat belts.
Nearly 800 people died in vehicle wrecks throughout the state last year, and in more than half of those collisions, the person who died was not wearing a seat belt.
The campaign has a new mission this year called Target Zero.
This year, a new YouTube video has been revealed as part of Target Zero. The video shows South Carolina residents' reactions to traffic deaths in the state. The video takes a more personalized approach to the issue.
"Once you bring that personal aspect to it and realize anyone can die in a car crash. It only takes a second. And it's not always your fault it could be the other persons fault," said Corporal Sonny Collins of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
These senseless tragedies take a toll on both Highway Patrol and other local agencies that handle them.
The Myrtle Beach Police Department is one of the local law enforcement agencies that supports Target Zero.
Myrtle Beach Police Corporal Kevin Cast responds to hundreds of wrecks in the city each year.
He said it's frustrating to see fatalities when the people were not wearing seat belts.
"I take enforcement on seat belt usage and seeing a fatal collision, where someone's life could have been saved, and all they had to do is click their seat belt on. Yeah, it's frustrating," said Cast.
There have been 251 highway fatalities, as of May 13, compared to 255 on the same date in 2013, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.