The South Carolina Department of Public Safety urges travelers to slow down, pay attention, and drive sober this Thanksgiving holiday week.
Drivers can expect to see an increased law enforcement presence from the South Carolina Highway Patrol and State Transport Police leading into and throughout the holiday travel period, which begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22, and ends at midnight on Sunday, November 26.
Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest travel times of the year and this year is expected to be busier than 2022, according to AAA. In South Carolina alone there were 1,126 crashes during the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday period, resulting in 11 deaths.
“We have a simple message for everyone traveling for the holiday – make it to the Thanksgiving table,” said Colonel Christopher Williamson, SC Highway Patrol Commander. “Driving behaviors like speeding, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence are still some of the most dangerous on the road and you can be sure our troopers will do everything they can to ensure we all get home at the end of the day.”
In addition to regular highway safety enforcement, the Department of Public Safety is partnering with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to help target aggressive driving. The SC Department of Natural Resources will provide aerial enforcement support to troopers and officers on major interstates on Wednesday, November 22, and Sunday, November 26.
A new video was released by both agencies to help alert the public of when they can expect to see aerial enforcement and can be viewed here on the SCDPS YouTube page.
“The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is lending Highway Patrol troopers and State Transport Police officers a huge helping hand,” said Williamson. “We thank Colonel Chisolm Frampton and his Law Enforcement Division for their support and their continued partnership.”
“We are thankful for the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement aviation division and value our partnership with SCDPS,” said Colonel Chisolm Frampton of the SC Department Of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division. “We share the same mission in keeping South Carolinians safe this holiday season and throughout the year.”
The State Transport Police will also play a critical role in the extra enforcement, especially as it relates to commercial motor vehicles and ensuring that commercial vehicles are in compliance with state law and federal regulations.
“The State Transport Police is uniquely equipped to help with highway safety for both large commercial trucks and non-commercial vehicles,” said Colonel Dean Dill, State Transport Police Commander. “While our officers focus regularly on commercial vehicle safety, drivers of other vehicles should respect the size and weight of those vehicles on the highway. Give enough space in front of the truck when you change lanes and remember that if you cannot see the truck’s mirrors, the driver cannot see you.”
In addition to stepped-up enforcement, the Department of Public Safety also produced a new public service announcement emphasizing the dangers of drinking and driving. The message – “Make it to the Thanksgiving table. Don’t drink and drive” – was posted to billboards on November 2 and began running on paid social media ads on November 15.