July 10, 2019


Recently released statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reflect a dramatic decrease in the number of fatal vehicle crashes in Florence County. According to the statistics, for the period January 1 thru July 7 (period through the Fourth of July Holiday) Florence County experienced the lowest number of traffic related fatalities in over four years. For the same period in 2019, 12 fatalities were reported as opposed to 21 in 2018, 18 in 2017 and 14 in 2016.

Importantly, there were no reported fatalities in Florence County during the traditionally deadly 4th of July Holiday. During this holiday period the Florence County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Safety Unit (TSU), part of the Special Operations Division conducted targeted traffic safety operations throughout Florence County. This unit focuses enforcement on the three primary causes of traffic fatalities which are speed, impaired driving and the non-use of seat belts. TSU conducted enforcement operations consisting of traffic safety checkpoints, DUI saturation and speed enforcement. As a result of this enforcement during the holiday weekend, the following charges were made:

Child Restraint Violation 4
Seatbelt Violation 14
Speeding 28
Driving Under the Influence 7
Driving Under Suspension 14
Alcohol Violation 10
Drug Cases 2
Uninsured Vehicle 2
Other Moving Violation 56
Collisions 4

“While one fatality on our roadways is too many, we are starting to see the results of our focused commitment to reducing the number of deaths on our highways through the Traffic Safety Unit,” Sheriff Billy Barnes stated. “We will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners to reduce this number even further.”

During the 2019 July 4th travel period the SCDPS reported 10 fatalities statewide. Nine of the fatalities occurred on U.S. Highways, S.C. Roads or secondary routes. Five of the nine fatalities were not wearing available seatbelts. One was a pedestrian and one was a motorcyclist (without helmet).

Major Michael M. Nunn
General Cousnel/P.I.O.