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      Troopers prepare for busy summer travel season

      The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is looking to keep drivers safe this holiday weekend, the beginning of the summer travel season, and throughout the summer.

      "The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been called the 100 Deadly Days of Summer because fatalities typically rise as people are off from work and out of school, heading to vacation spots," said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith in a news release. "I'm encouraging our troopers, officers and motorists to be part of the Target Zero Team and help change summer's reputation to the 100 Safe Days of Summer."

      The South Carolina Department of Public Safety has a goal of ZERO highway fatalities.

      Statewide highway fatalities stand at 269 this year compared to 270 at this time last year, as of Friday morning.

      12 motorists died on South Carolina roadways last year during Memorial Day weekend alone last year.

      SCDPS kicked off its "Buckle Up South Carolina. It's the law and it's enforced." campaign last week.

      While overall safety belt use continues rising, 91.7 percent in 2013, nearly 55 percent of people killed who had access to seat belts last year were not wearing them.

      SCHP Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver said that troopers will also be keeping a close eye on protecting vulnerable roadway users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, moped riders and motorcyclists.

      "Motorists will see more blue lights as troopers focus on deterring aggressive and deadly driving behaviors," Oliver said. "People often get complacent or let their excitement about their vacation distract them from the road on holiday weekends. Stay focused, plan rest breaks and watch your speed."

      Motorists are encouraged to call *HP to report aggressive or impaired driving behaviors.

      Watch the new Target Zero Safety Video from the SCDPS.