The South Carolina State Transport Police (STP) have teamed up with CMV Highway Patrol officers from North Carolina and Florida, as well as officers from the Georgia Department of Public Safety for an enforcement blitz along a 900-mile stretch of I-95. The blitz, called Safe Drive on I-95, starts today and ends Thursday.
South Carolina Highway Patrol and local officers will also aid in the enforcement blitz. Officers will focus their efforts on CMVs and driver behavior. In addition, officers will be checking logs to make sure that drivers are in compliance with HOS laws.
“This enforcement and education effort focuses on operator safety, ensuring vehicles are in good condition but also on educating drivers of passenger vehicles about the safe way to interact with CMVs,” STP Col. Leroy Taylor said. “Historically, whenever there are fatal crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles, the data show that the passenger vehicle is at fault in about 75 percent of those.”
SCDPS Director Leroy Smith said in a statement that commercial vehicle fatalities are down, and he credits programs like DRIVE, Distracted, Reckless, Impaired, Visibility Enforcement, with helping bring down the numbers.
“We saw a 24 percent reduction in CMV fatalities last year,” Smith said. “Our goal is ZERO fatalities and to get there, we have to continue proactive, high visibility enforcement in high-collision areas.”
I-95 is one of the most heavily-traveled highways in the county, and 13% of all CMV fatal accidents occur in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia. From 2011 to 2013, there were 384 CMV crashes on I-95 and 20 fatalities. According to an STP press release, the main factor for the crashes was driving too fast for conditions and improper lane usage and lane changes.
STP says that officers will also be stationed at rest areas along I-95, handing out safety materials.
A second blitz will occur on July 29-31.
Image Credit: South Carolina State Transport Police