Drivers to hit roads in record numbers for July 4 holiday - FOX Carolina 21

Drivers to hit roads in record numbers for July 4 holiday

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(File: FOX Carolina) (File: FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Whether they're heading to the beach or going across town for a local fireworks show, motorists will be hitting the roads in records numbers this Fourth of July holiday - and so will state troopers. 

With the increase in traffic, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety is urging drivers to plan early and leave plenty of time for travel, as nearly a half a million South Carolinians are expected to be traveling by car this weekend.

SCDPS says the official holiday travel period begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday and runs through midnight on Sunday. During this period last year, 10 people were killed on SC highways.

"Motorists should anticipate heavier-than-normal traffic this Independence Day holiday since it is falling on a Friday and people will likely couple that with vacation time," said SCDPS Leroy Smith.

"We urge motorists to reduce their speeds, leave plenty of room for a safe stopping distance and be aware of sharing the road with motorcyclists and other vulnerable roadway users," Smith said.

Highway Patrol said they will upping their patrols for July with a new program called Operation L.I.F.E. (lower interstate fatalities effort,) which will focus on combating DUI, speeding and seat belt violations. 

With the effort, they say drivers should expect to see more troopers around congested, high-collision interstate areas.

"We cannot emphasize enough the importance of designating a driver and planning ahead if alcohol is part of your July 4 plans," Col. Mike Oliver said. "Our troopers will be especially vigilant for signs of impaired driving over the holiday weekend."

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