South Carolina Sees Decline in Traffic Deaths

January 4, 2010

South Carolina authorities say 2009 has been the safest year on the state’s roads in 14 years.

Preliminary reports say 881 people died on the state’s roads last year, compared to 921 deaths in 2008. The State of Columbia reports the last year to have fewer than 900 deaths on South Carolina roads was 1995.

Public Safety Department Director Mark Keel credits both the slow economy for reducing the amount people drive as well as heightened enforcement for the lower death toll.

Keel says seat belt use is at 81 percent in South Carolina — an all-time high. He says citations for not wearing a seat belt and for driving under the influence also increased significantly this year.

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