- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - State transportation officials say their top priority for additional money is making South Carolina’s deadliest stretches of highway safer.

Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said Thursday it will take $50 million a year over a decade just to make safety improvements to the state’s “worst of the worst” stretches. She says nearly 30 percent of the state’s crash fatalities and serious injuries occur along those 1,900 miles.

Officials say 2015 was the state’s deadliest year on record, with 979 traffic deaths.

Hall says most of those happen in the state’s rural areas, and half involve vehicles running off the road.

Safety improvements would include guard rails, rumble strips, wider road shoulders, paving shoulders and better pavement markings.

A House road-funding plan introduced Wednesday designates money for those improvements.

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