Mount Pleasant police crack down on speeders who don't use turn signals on Ravenel Bridge

 

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) — The crackdown on aggressive driving continues in Mount Pleasant as police officers watch for speeders and drivers who aren't using their turn signals.

And they're targeting one area in particular: the Ravenel Bridge.

Lane changes without signaling are happening all the time on the Ravenel Bridge with drivers traveling at 55 mph or faster -- and police say that's what leads to crashes.

PFC Matt Smetana spends his days tracking speeders, and this month he's one of several officers focusing more on the Ravenel Bridge.

"I had one this morning, she went across three lanes of traffic across the Ravenel and never signaled," Smetana said. "If you're coming from lane one which is the far left lane and you're not signaling and someone is in lane four and shooting across and they're not signaling you're going to run into each other."

It gets worse when speed is considered.

"They're going just as fast on the Ravenel as they are on the interstate, on 526," Smetana said. "The fastest I've had was 99. We've had 105."

Smetana says that's the perfect combination for a serious if not deadly crash.

"Usually when they get up to those speeds and encounter slower traffic, that's when we have lane change issues because they're making those lane changes at 73 mph in an SUV that big which ends up causing, you know, rollovers," he said.

So Smetana and his fellow officers are asking drivers to slow down, pay attention, and be a little more patient.

And here's a helpful tip for drivers: Police officers don't turn on their blue lights while on the bridge so they could already be caught and not know it until after they're off the bridge.

Mount Pleasant police and Charleston police have concurrent jurisdiction of the bridge, so officers from both agencies can pull people over on either side of the bridge.

The fine for an improper lane change is $128 and two points on a license.

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