Sunday letters: Fewer troopers mean fewer traffic deaths

January 5, 2014 

The State has exposed yet another myth put forth by a state agency. For years we have been told that the size of the Highway Patrol has a direct impact on the number of deaths on our highways. Information reported by the S.C. Department of Public Safety shows this old wives tale to be false.

In fact, the latest data show that if there is a relationship between patrol size and highway deaths, it is an inverse one (“Midlands counties bucking trend of fewer traffic fatalities in S.C.,” Dec. 23).

This fraud has been perpetrated on the taxpayers by those who have a vested interest in the size of the department and/or the fees and fines generated by the patrol.

The director of the state Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs has a plan to reduce deaths to zero.

It seems to me that a first step to further reduce the number of people killed on our roads should be to substantially shrink the patrol. At the very least, there should be serious consideration given to an immediate and prolonged freeze on any new hires.

Fred Taylor

Columbia

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