Friday, January 3, 2014
South Carolina traffic fatalities dropped sharply in 2013, and there was a slight decline in Georgetown County.
Through Dec. 28, there were 732 highway fatalities in South Carolina in 2013, compared with 856 for the same time period last year, the S.C. Department of Public Safety reported.
“We haven’t been that low since 1982,” Highway Patrol Cpl. Bob Beres said.
The number of fatal crashes dropped from 800 in 2012 to 685 in 2013, according to DPS.
“One fatality is too many,” Beres said.
In Georgetown County, 13 people died in traffic accidents in 2013, compared to 14 in 2012, according to Deputy Coroner Paulette Radcliffe.
The lower traffic-death numbers this year are a result of enforcement and driver education, Beres said.
Campaigns to increase driver awareness of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycles have been a factor, he said.
The Highway Patrol this year presented informational sessions on safety-related issues to more than 100,000 people, he said.
Statewide, traffic fatalities for 2013 included 469 motor vehicle occupants, 88 pedestrians, 116 motorcyclists and 13 bicyclists. Some 266 of those who died in motor vehicles were not wearing their seat belts, but overall 90 percent of drivers are buckling up, officials said.
Georgetown Times reporter Scott Harper contributed to this report.