South Carolina 1 of 5 states participating in Operation Southern Shield

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Just this year, there have been more than 160 speeding related deaths in South Carolina.

South Carolina Highway Patrol’s Trooper Joe Hovis said notifying the families is the hardest part of his job.

“You go into someone’s home, they’re living room or their kitchen, and you sit down with them and explain to them that their loved one, their son, their daughter, their husband, their wife, their mother or father, are never ever coming home again,” Trooper Hovis said. “That’s something we certainly never want to have to do.”

Trooper Hovis said Operation Southern Shield is all about helping to eliminate traffic deaths statewide.

Highway patrol troopers are not the only ones working toward that goal.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office also wants to make people aware of the risk of speeding.

Lieutenant Ryan Flood said it’s even more important now as they have seen the number of deaths increase since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

“People might think because there’s not as much law enforcement in a particular area they can begin speeding again,” Lieutenant Flood said. “The fact of the matter is those numbers have come in, so we just want to work together as a state, all the law enforcement combined, to make our presence as visible as we possibly can to get people to reduce their speeds.”

Operation Southern Shield is also taking place in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.

Law enforcement officers are not only looking for people who are speeding but also for those driving while distracted and not wearing seat belts as well.

Trooper Hovis said one way to avoid speeding is to leave for your destination earlier so you are not putting yourself and others at risk.

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