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Edgefield Police Chief Seeks Database on Sweetwater Road Truckers

web posted January 13, 2014

EDGEFIELD Edgefield Police Chief Ronnie Carter is asking local residents who travel Sweetwater Road on a regular basis to report and document dangerous driving by big rigs, including those hauling gasoline, diesel fuel or ethanol. "What we need is a tag or trailer number, the date and time, and what the infraction is," Chief Carter said. The information will be shared with area law enforcement agencies and the companies operating the fuel transports.

"That's a dangerous road," Carter said, and recounted numerous times he and his family were meeting or behind a tanker truck that spent more time over in the oncoming lane than their own lane. Aggressive driving is also an issue Chief Carter hopes to document.

With most people now owning iphones or smartphones a picture or video is great evidence. "I would advise that a passenger take any pictures or video," Carter said. "I don't want a driver trying to drive and be using their phone to take a picture or video."

But pictures and video is not the only information Carter is seeking. Although cell coverage on Sweetwater Road is spotty at best, calling the Edgefield County Sheriff's Dispatch (803-637-5337) to report a driver is just as helpful to document the incident showing the date and time of the report and the reported activity.

With the trailer tag number or trailer number (and the name of the company if possible), "we can identify the driver," Carter said. He explained that even with video evidence, it is unlikely that a driver could be charged with a ticket following a report. "The officer needs to see it (the infraction) himself," Carter said.

However, once the information is being compiled, Carter said he would start informing the companies about their drivers' habits on the road. "Once they've been notified of their drivers' actions, it makes their liability go way up if they knew about a driver breaking the laws and didn't take action if he's involved in a wreck at a later date."

While the campaign is just getting off the ground, Chief Carter is asking people to send pictures or videos of dangerous driving to Edgefield Daily. Emails with the information will also be accepted as long as the information contains date, time, type of infraction and the truck, trailer or tag number, so the data can be compiled by his department.

All information sent to Edgefield Daily will be directly forwarded to Chief Carter.

Complaints are nothing new surrounding the big rigs and Sweetwater Road. For nine years Edgefield Daily has placed reader complaints in our comment section Wandering Minds. The Sheriff's Office, Edgefield Police Department, Highway Patrol and even SCDOT receive regular complaints from citizens who travel the curvy and hilly roadway.

Anyone wishing to send in documented encounters should send them to editor@edgefielddaily.com and please include contact information if law enforcement wishes to contact you about your complaint, though it is not necessary.

A portion of Sweetwater Road is within the town limits of Edgefield.

18-wheeler crash, fuel spill closes Sweetwater Road
web posted May 23, 2010

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