SC gas tax increase to fix deadly rural roads set to take effect

The South Carolina Department of Transportation says more than half of the accidents happen on rural roads. The department now planning to repair those roads with money from the gas tax increase, which goes into effect Saturday, July 1st.

South Carolina ranks number one in the country for the highest number of fatal car crashes. The South Carolina Department of Transportation says more than half of the accidents happen on rural roads.

SCDOT is now planning to repair those roads with money from the gas tax increase, which goes into effect Saturday, July 1. One of those roads is Highway 72 which runs between York and Chester Counties.

“Highway 72 is probably the worst road you can ride on right now,” said Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker.

“You have dips, swells, feels like your car is going to run off to the right.”

Since 2012, SCDOT says 11 people have either died or been seriously injured on Highway 72.

“It can be a single car. It can be two tractor-trailers. You don’t know what you’re facing,” said Tinker.

SCDOT is now working with lawmakers to prevent any further crashes. This spring, state lawmakers passed a bill to increase the gas tax by 12 cents over the next six years.

Officials say the money will go towards fixing crumbling roads in rural areas, including Highway 72.

“The intent is to make fairly simple improvements like widening the roads, cutting trees, adding rubble strips,” said SCDOT spokesman Pete Poore.

You can find a list of the rural roads SCDOT plans on fixing here. The roads are prioritized by the number of  fatal and serious injuries. Highway 72 is number 19 on the list.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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