SCHP Says "Operation Fourth Quarter" Reduced Fatalities - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

SCHP Says "Operation Fourth Quarter" Reduced Fatalities

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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. -

As expected you'll see lot of South Carolina Highway Patrol officers on the roads this New Year's Eve.

South Carolina law enforcement is cracking down on wreckless driving as part of a new initiative to lower the number of fatalities in the lowcountry, called "Operation Fourth Quarter".

"Its an emphasis on drunk driving and that was our goal, we saw a spike in fatalities last year just after Halloween, up until the new year and that was our focus and we're getting good results," said Sgt. Bob Beres.

Beaufort county in particular saw a major decrease in the number of people dying on the roads.

"12 fatalities this year to date versus 23 last year, so that's a significant drop and also in Jasper too. But obviously we want to get better and have zero fatalities."

Jasper County saw a drop from 15 deaths in 2012, to only eight this year.

And local drivers like Bob Cannon are taking notice of the stepped-up state patrol presence.

"Absolutely, I've noticed the traffic and the flow of traffic and I feel more comfortable driving in the area with the increased patrols."

Cannon, a Beaufort neighbor and retired marine, knows what its like to follow rules, he says he feels safer driving around town.

"I like the fact that highway patrol has put an emphasis on it, we need to reduce the number of fatalities that we have a around here, we have a lot of young kids, a lot of new drivers and they have to learn to do things right."

New Year's Eve is a busy night for the state patrol, expect to see even more officers on the highways trying to keep everyone safe..

"There will be heavy law enforcement presence tonight, we want everyone to celebrate, but celebrate responsibly, but don't make the mistake of getting a DUI or killing someone," said Beres.

The program is having an impact statewide as well, reducing the number of fatal accidents by nearly 15% over last year.

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