Neighbors Voice Support For Bluffton Traffic Unit, After Deadly - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Neighbors Voice Support For Bluffton Traffic Unit

Neighbors Voice Support For Bluffton Traffic Unit, After Deadly Crash on Highway 278

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BLUFFTON, S.C. -
Highway 278 is a thoroughfare that is becoming known for deadly crashes, after two crashes last week killed one woman and injured nine people. 

"The problem of 278 has been on my mind ever since we moved here," Bonnie Sanders says.

The fatal wreck that killed Sanders' friend, Anne Kravitz, was a wake up call to Sanders.    

"It just grieved me," she says. 

Now, Sanders is speaking out for change, starting with lowering the speed limits that change from 55 mph to 45, in spots. 

"What if it costs someone five extra minutes to arrive at their destination? When you put that on one hand, five extra minutes, and a human life on the other, there's no comparison," Sanders says. 

She is also hoping Bluffton Police get a traffic unit that they applied to the state for, that would add two officers to patrol the deadly stretch, where 46 accidents happened this May alone. 

Lt. Joe Babkiewicz says a traffic unit would be dedicated to just traffic enforcement and DUI enforcement. 

"We're talking safety seat belt checks, speeding in particular areas, and also for educating kids in school on driving safety and things like that," Babkiewicz says.

Until then, "we are continuing patrolling in those areas, particularly during rush hour traffic, where you're going to see more police vehicles up there during that time," he says. 

Although pleased to see added patrols, Sanders will stick to a ritual of hers before she ventures out on the highway. 

"It's gotten to the point that when I'm taking my friends to a function and I have to use 278, a little prayer is sent up for our safety," Sanders says. 

Bluffton Police say they will not know from the state if they receive the grant to pay for the traffic unit until the fall. Until then they are working on traffic studies, to suggest adjustments to problem areas to the Department of Transportation.


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