NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The North Charleston Police Department is cracking down on speeding this summer.

This week, police are increasing their presence in the Wescott area as part of a traffic enforcement blitz. Officers will issue citations to those driving over the limit.

“A lot of the problem areas in Wescott are obviously Wescott Boulevard, people use it for a cut-through, Patriot Boulevard, and Ballantine Drive,” said Lt. Sid Lewis.

The blitz is the first of a summer-long series in neighborhoods throughout North Charleston. According to police, it’s a response to community complaints. They said the goal of the enforcement operation is to reduce the number of accidents and deaths amid an uptick.

Capt. Rick Keys, said the rising numbers could be due in part to the decrease in police presence because of the pandemic.

“We lost a lot of officers due to the mandate and different things involving the pandemic. We’re trying to get built back up and we’re heading in the right direction in doing that,” said Keys. “People didn’t see us out here as much as they should have so they kind of got carried away with their driving.”

Keys is no stranger to traffic accidents. He said he spent two months in the hospital after he was struck by a car. That’s why he is encouraging the community to slow down.

According to Keys, driving 25 miles per hour over the speed limit can result in a $400+ ticket. Aside from the hefty fine drivers can face, Keys said speeding can cost someone’s life.

“You’re coming home from work, and you get a knock on the door. I am standing there, or one of my people, with the coroner. It’s a different story. And that’s what we want to stop,” said Keys. “We don’t want you to get that knock on the door.”

NCPD will conduct traffic blitzes for two weeks during every month this summer.