Highway Patrol warns of distracted driving - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Highway Patrol warns of distracted driving

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – A ride on Interstate 26 most mornings point out more problems than the heavy traffic. Troopers with the Highway Patrol say they see their fair share of speeding and distracted driving.

Trooper Bob Beres has been down this road before, patrolling I-26 for nearly 20 years.

"You know, I really love my job and people always ask me the best and worst part of the job. The best part is coming out doing a safety talk or telling someone to slow down, knowing that is going to save their life. And the worst part is ringing the door bell and telling them their loved one is not coming home," Beres said.

It's a heart-wrenching act, and it's one the state Highway Patrol had to do nearly 800 times last year. In a ride-along, it was not hard to see why. Cars were speeding past Beres, other drivers were on their cellphones.

 It's a message this larger than life trooper has said before, and one he vows to keep repeating no matter who is heeding the advice.

 You have to pay attention more now than you ever have. No life is worth one text message or one phone call," he said.

 And he gives his warning as not only a trooper but a parent.  

"I have a son that started to drive a couple weeks ago," Beres said. "It is important to note the decisions you make behind the wheel don't only affect you and your passengers but affects the other cars around you."

 The message appears to be heard; the death rate on state's highways were at an all-time low last year. But just one driving death is unacceptable to Beres.

"[There] is not an acceptable answer. Zero for everyone. We can achieve that – every person out here needs to make the right decision," he said.

Beres said people should still expect the unexpected, too.

With his eyes fixed firmly on the road and hands on the steering wheel, Beres has no plans to stop driving his message of safety home.

The Highway Patrol says 57 percent of all accidents on I-26 in the tri-county region happen between 6 a.m. and noon. More than half of those collisions are a result of speeding.

Troopers ask people to call *HP to report anything on the highways that's unsafe.


  • Stefanie Bainum

    Email: sbainum@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




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