2010 SC fatalities expected to drop below 800

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Traffic fatalities in South Carolina this year are expected to drop below 800 for the first time in almost three decades.

The State Department of Transportation reported Monday that, through the end of October, 655 people had died on South Carolina's roadways. The last time the traffic death toll was below 800 was back in 1982.

Secretary of Transportation Buck Limehouse says the drop in fatalities this year is encouraging.

He attributes the drop in part to the Transportation Department's Fix It First program in which repairs and safety improvements are made to existing roads before building new ones.

Limehouse is encouraging motorists to remember to use their seat belts and not to drink and drive during holiday travel.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.