(Columbia - AP) September 11, 2005 - Fewer troopers on the road led to a seven percent drop in speeding tickets issued during the first half of this year compared with last year.
The state Department of Public Safety reported 66,671 speeding tickets written from January to June 2005. That's down from 71,647 for the same period in 2004.
Public Safety spokesman Sid Gaulden said the decline was because of fewer troopers on the road. A class of 28 troopers graduated Friday to bring the total statewide to 783. That's down from the 961 troopers who were on the road in 2000.
But those new troopers may have a lot to choose from when they head out on patrol. South Carolina leads the nation in speed-related traffic deaths.
Studies by AAA Carolinas show motorists in South Carolina drive about ten miles an hour over the speed limit on average because they think officers won't pull them over.
While there is no written policy, officers say they pick and choose who they pull over.