This past year we have seen an increase in traffic accidents and some of these ended in fatalities. So many of our accidents are the result of distracted driving.

With this in mind, the Bluffton Police Department wants to make sure you and everyone else on the roads are safe.

This is why Bluffton police are following the lead of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety “Sober or Slammer” campaign.

For those not familiar with this campaign, there are different times of year in which law enforcement focus heavily on identifying impaired and distracted drivers to make sure it’s safe for others to travel on local and state roads.

The two most common times of year Sober or Slammer takes place are between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and Thanksgiving until the New Year.

To put the issue in perspective, last year there were more than 22,000 DUI arrests across South Carolina.

Last year, 975 people died in crashes on South Carolina roads, and nearly half of those deadly crashes involved an impaired driver.

Too many people are taking unnecessary risks when they get behind the wheel that leads to their own death, or even worse, someone else’s death.

Please be smart when getting behind the wheel of your car or getting in a car with a driver who has been drinking, or who is texting while driving.

Don’t drive while under the influence of anything that can impair your vision, mind or body.

Also, remember to keep your focus on the road while behind the wheel. Too often drivers are doing too many other things while driving, like eating, putting on makeup or talking on the phone.

If you are doing any of these or anything else other than driving, and it causes you to take your attention off the road, you can and will be ticketed for distracted driving.

It’s not just your life at risk. It’s also the innocent life that you may impact if you aren’t careful when behind the wheel.

Bluffton continues to receive awards from all of the good practices we have in place, so let’s also strive to be the safest town and cut down on the number of DUI arrests and fatalities.

Lisa Sulka is the mayor of the Town of Bluffton.