CAMDEN, S.C. — 'No Truck Thru' signs have been on display in downtown Camden for several years, along with a bypass route for large trucks, but recently some residents say they have seen more semi and other oversized vehicles coming through downtown Camden.
"I've been on Broad Street for 6 years now, and the trucks have always been a problem," says Laurie McIntosh, who owns a business on Broad Street in Camden.
McIntosh is not alone. Another business owner, Kevin Smith, has seen many trucks out as well, "I do see trucks all day, every day. I work downtown and I do see quite a few."
So, News19 went to the Camden Police Department and spoke with Chief Joe Floyd to help get clarity on the situation.
"Our immediate downtown area, which almost all of those businesses are on Broad Street, and that's the restricted area that's been designed to keep the trucks away from, except for the trucks that are making deliveries," said Chief Floyd.
Floyd said the truck restrictions are based on their axles and weight, so pickup trucks, even those hauling a trailer, are not under those restrictions. He said 18-wheelers that are making deliveries to stores are fine, but those passing through need to take the bypass.
Chief Floyd said the majority of truck drivers follow alternate routes but that doesn't mean some drivers still don't abide by the rules.
"The last couple of years, we've written around 330 tickets," Floyd said.
Moving forward, he says they will continue to enforce and educate both residents and drivers. They also are preparing for a possible new grant which will enhance their ability to stop truck drivers that shouldn't be on the road.
"We are in great hopes, and we hope to hear very soon about a traffic grant we applied for ... We should know within the next few days, and if we get traffic officers, those dedicated to nothing other than enforcement, the truck route enforcement is one of those priorities we're looking at," Floyd said.
For more information on the city's No Truck Zone designation, click here.