Florence County Sheriff’s Office introduces new Traffic Safety Unit

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – With New Year’s upon us, one Pee Dee county wants you to know they’re out and watching for drunk drivers.

According to the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, as of Wednesday, there have been 968 traffic-related deaths in South Carolina so far in 2016. Now the Florence County Sheriff’s Office has applied for and received a grant from the department of Public Safety to help bring that number as close to zero as possible.

Major Mike Nunn with the Sheriff’s office said keeping people safe on the roads is a top priority.

“There is a noticeable increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents and fatalities on the roads not only in the state of South Carolina, but in Florence County,” Nunn explained.

In response to those rising numbers, the Sheriff’s office applied for and received a grant from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety to add three more officers to a dedicated Traffic Safety Unit.

“We already had two officers on that unit,” Nunn said.

That will bring the total to five officers who will now be better-equipped to watch for dangerous drivers on Florence County roads.

“They’re certified in drug recognition for impaired drivers, as well as data master and DUI detection,” Nunn said.

In addition to officer’s salaries, the grant will help provide vehicles with radar detection and other technology to fight reckless driving. Nunn said it’s important that people know deputies will be out watching not only on holidays, but 365 days a year.

“We’re hoping that it will make a difference in the number of highway fatalities that we have,” Nunn said.