Editorial summary, July 30, 2022


The Times and the Democrat

22nd of July

Reducing speeds on SC highways becomes a priority

Traffic fatalities in South Carolina are down from this time a year ago, but before you think there’s good news on the state’s highways, know that more than 500 people have been killed.

The toll is not something new. The research named the top 10 states with the most dangerous roads in the United States. With a score of 9.59 out of 10, South Carolina is tied with Arkansas as the second most dangerous country behind Mississippi.

Research from 1-800-Injured, a medical and legal referral network, found that South Carolina had 1.97 deaths per 100 million miles driven and 27.24 deaths per 100,000 licensed drivers.

South Carolina is the fourth in the country with the highest number of road deaths with a rate of 20.79 per 100,000 population.

State law enforcement is focused on reducing the carnage.

South Carolina joined five other Southern states this week in “Operation Southern Slow Down.” Formerly known as “Operation Southern Shield”, the awareness and speed enforcement campaign is being conducted in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee.

State troopers and local law enforcement officers are concentrating law enforcement on highways and state highways to stop the rise in drivers traveling at speeds well above the legal limit . Law enforcement in the Southeast and across the country have seen a substantial increase in the number of vehicles traveling at speeds over 100 mph over the past two years.

In the same time frame, the United States has seen an increase in the total number of road fatalities and speed-related fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Despite a 22% drop in the total number of traffic accidents and an 11% decrease in the number of miles traveled in the country in 2020, the number of people killed in accidents in the United States increased by 6.6 % compared to 2019.

Speeding was a factor in 29% of total road fatalities in 2020, an increase of 3% from the previous year. The number of people killed in crashes involving speeding increased by 17% in 2020.

“We know that speeding and aggressive driving continue to be challenges for law enforcement across the country,” said Robert G. Woods IV, director of SC’s Department of Public Safety. “We have seen promising results with these efforts to intercept dangerous and fatal driving behaviors, particularly due to speed.”

Operation Southern Slow Down began in 2017. Through 2020, road deaths in the five states participating in the enforcement campaign have fallen by 2% from the previous week to the week of the crackdown, while speed-related road fatalities fell by 14% over the same period.

If you’ve spent any time driving on freeways, you’ll know that law enforcement officials are right that people drive at excessive speeds. The emphasis on slowing them down is justified.

Allen Poole, Director of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Traffic Safety, should speak for everyone when he says, “The majority of people who drive safely and legally shouldn’t have to worry about their safety in the face of selfish drivers who don’t care about their safety and the safety of others with their disregard for speed limits and other road safety laws. »

Post and courier

July 27

What a bizarre case tells us about the folly of erasing history

What used to happen on rare occasions has become commonplace in South Carolina as our legislature has increased the number of cases in which people can have their criminal charges or even their criminal convictions overturned.

It’s often a painstaking process, but the end result is the government saying its actions never happened.

It doesn’t matter that the arrest actually took place. The trial really took place. In many cases, the conviction has actually taken place. The prison sentence really took place. With the stroke of a judge’s pen, everything is erased from public view. And it should worry us all that our government is erasing the public record of something it actually did.

It is one thing to tell schools and employers that they cannot make certain arrests and convictions against applicants for admission or jobs. In many cases, this is not a problem for us. Indeed, we would applaud the school or company regardless of that criminal history without having to be ordered to do so. But pretending they never happened?

If a court created false records to show that someone had been charged, arrested, convicted and sentenced for a crime when in fact none of it ever happened, would that be acceptable? It doesn’t matter that she wasn’t arrested or had to serve time, the obvious and easy answer is always “no”.

Yet most people overlook it when the courts do the opposite — as South Carolina courts did nearly 14,000 times in fiscal year 2021 — erasing accurate public records that showed that these things happened.

Usually it is the public that suffers when our courts decree that all evidence of criminal charges must be expunged: politicians, for example, can lie about past arrests, and there is no official evidence to prove that , yes, they really have been charged or even convicted. of a crime. Parents may be deprived of information about a prospective babysitter who has been convicted of breaking into homes. The owners will not know until too late that the new neighbor has been convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. We might not even be able to recognize police incompetence – or worse.

But a bizarre, he-said-he-said case in upstate reminds us that radiation can also hurt the person whose record is erased.

Eric Connor of the Post and Courier reports that a prominent Greenville developer is stepping up his campaign to have U.S. Representative William Timmons removed from office and criminally prosecuted for what the developer claims was an abuse of power. Ron Rallis claimed on his Instagram page that Mr Timmons had an affair with his estranged wife and then intervened to have him jailed and charged with kidnapping. Last week, after Mr. Timmons appeared on conservative radio shows in the upstate to somehow deny the allegations, Mr. Rallis turned a church he had bought into a Pepto-Bismol show on what he said was the first anniversary of his arrest.

Mr Rallis’ problem is that he and other members of the public cannot get any official evidence for his claim that he was even arrested, let alone jailed and forced to wear an ankle monitor During months. This is because it says its records have been deleted, which means there are no records.

Our point here is not about Mr. Rallis, but since he put himself in the spotlight – and demanded an even brighter spotlight with the strange pink church waterfall – we must point out that there are a few problems with his assertions.

Most importantly, most write-offs are not automatic; the person seeking one must apply for one and, in some cases, pay a fee. It would be pretty myopic for someone who is being harassed by a rogue congressman to go out of their way to have all evidence of this situation destroyed.

Also, if the charges are dropped, that doesn’t mean they were fabricated. Although some charges may in fact be expunged because they were dropped or the accused was found not guilty, they may also be expunged if the accused enters into a pre-trial agreement with the attorney.

There probably aren’t many cases where a disbarment prevents someone from proving that a congressman abused his office to target him. But there are certainly other cases where it becomes impossible to prove that the police targeted individuals – or, more importantly, certain types of individuals – because the records of their arrests on clearly trumped up charges have faded away.

We shouldn’t punish people for criminal charges they haven’t been convicted of, and we should allow the guilty to pay their debt to society and move on. But not at the cost of fabricating history. The cost to all of us – including, in some cases, the accused – is simply too high.


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