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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The South Carolina Highway Patrol will be doing all they can to ensure save travels across the state over this 4th Of July holiday weekend.

With nearly a half-million South Carolinians hitting the roads for Independence Day festivities, Highway Patrol has launched a special enforcement effort all month long, called Operation L.I.F.E., (Lower Interstate FatalitiesEffort,) focused on DUI, speeding, and seat belt violations state-wide.

Don't be surprised to see additional State Troopers on South Carolina's interstates, especially around congested interstates with high-rates of collisions.

So far, just on South Carolina roads and highways, 358 people have been killed, including more than 40 pedestrians and 35 motorcyclists.

Most startling of all, out of the 256 motor vehicle occupants have died in 2014, just about half, or 124, were not wearing seat belts.

The SC Department of Public Safety wants motorists to allow plenty of time in your Holiday travels so you'll not be in a hurry, always secure everyone in the vehicle with seat belts, or proper seats for children, and always have a Designated Driver.

Troopers will be keeping a sharp eye out for impaired drivers over the holiday weekend, so if alcohol consumption is part of your 4th of July plans, don't take any risk, for the safety of everyone traveling.

In addition, motorists who have a vehicle breakdown or have a minor collision should pull as far off the roadway as possible, turn on emergency flashers, and call *HP or 911.

Plus, make sure if you see an emergency vehicle approaching you from behind or along the side of the road, move over.

For real-time traffic information state-wide, visit the WLTX Traffic page, at: http://www.wltx.com/traffic/.

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