GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCSC) - Traffic reporter Abbey O’Brien traveled to Georgetown after a viewer wrote in about safety concerns for drivers on Church Street.
“The reason why I contacted you is because, since I’ve been in this area, I’ve seen multiple accidents take place and the last one really shook me up because there were kids involved," Phillip Theard, who works off Church Street, said. “As far as I know, no one was seriously injured, but to hear their screams as they were rear-ended and to watch it as it took place, it kinda shook me up.”
Theard said that accident happened earlier this year after two other crashes happened the same day.
The area in question on Church Street is between St. James Street and Screven Street. It’s a popular road for locals and people traveling between Myrtle Beach and Charleston.
Data from the South Carolina Department of Transportation shows there were about 74 crashes in the short stretch of road from 2016-present. In 2018, approximately 23 people were injured in 28 crashes. So far in 2019, there have been about 13 crashes. However, 2018 and 2019 data are still preliminary.
Theard said the issues usually stem from people speeding and trying to turn left into the businesses without a left turn signal.
“It’s like a drag strip, ready set go and they shoot off heading down Highway 17. In this area, we would really like to see it regulated to maybe 25 miles per hour so that way it’s a little safer,” Theard said. "We have 18-wheelers barreling through here and most people don’t go the speed limit they should.”
Traffic reporter, Abbey O’Brien, reached out to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to see what can be done to improve this area. District Five Traffic Engineer, Joey Skipper, said SCDOT will do a safety study of the location, “to determine if changes to the speed limit are needed or if a traffic signal should be installed.” He also said the study will include traffic counts and a review of the accident history.
The study is expected to take about 30 days to complete and Live5News will follow up once it’s complete.
In addition, District Five Engineering Administrator, Kyle Berry, said a resurfacing project is set to begin in mid-August. During this project the sidewalks will also be replaced.
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