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Police working to put the brakes on Ravenel Bridge speeding

WCIV Illustration

If you drive on the Ravenel Bridge, it's probably happened to you -- cut off by a speeding driver.

So what's being done to put the brakes on speeders.

We rode the Ravenel with Mount Pleasant police officers to see the problem for ourselves. The speed limit on the popular Charleston landmark is 55 mph, but we caught drivers going way past that.

Sean Davis drives on the Ravenel Bridge every day and says he's cut off regularly.

"Every day, every morning," Davis said.

Some bikers riding on the Ravenel are frustrated with speeders as well. We talked to one biker who said cars whiz by so fast, they're kicking up dirt.

"They throw rocks on me. I got hurt the other day. Not bad, but I could feel the debris coming on my face because the dirt on the road." Roberto Fontana said.

Complaints are also speeding in to the Mount Pleasant Police Department, and officials say they are taking action.

Officer Robert Bedard is watching out for speeders, but he's not just writing tickets. He's trying to save lives.

"We would like to reduce the number of traffic related deaths." Bedard said.

We rode along with Officer Robert Bedard, and we couldn't believe what we saw. Most drivers going way past 55 mph.

"Most people will say they thought the speed limit was close to 65 in that area. It has been 55 from the day the bridge was built," Bedard said.

In just over an hour, Officer Bedard stopped four vehicles.

"If I really wanted to go hard, we could probably write more," he said.

Officers with the Mount Pleasant Police Department are writing more tickets. We went through over 100 pages of records.

Here's what we found:

2014 - 758

2015 - 686

2016 - 1,105

Thru Sept. 17 2017 - 723

So why the big jump?

Officer Bedard says, "we get a lot of complaints about aggressive driving because of the amount of traffic."

Police are watching and you're paying. That speeding ticket, will cost you..

"They range from $76.88 to $440, depending on how fast you are going," Bedard said.

If you're lucky, Officer Bedard may cut you a break, but chances are, you're not getting out of the ticket.

Alex Thompson runs on the bridge regularly and believes drivers just need to slow down.

"No one wants to spend that. It's like that's extra money you can have in your pocket to spend out in Charleston," he said.

The Charleston Police Department also patrols the bridge, and we went through their records as well.

Based on a rough estimate, the number of speeding tickets their department is writing has dropped over the last four years.

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