SPARTANBURG The South Carolina Highway Patrol has taken to the air to watch for traffic violators on Interstate 85.

WSPA-TV reported the effort Friday involves troopers and an aircraft from the Department of Natural Resources.

The effort will focus on a 22-mile stretch of I-85 in Cherokee County. At least nine people died on that stretch of road last year.

Trooper Billy Elder says the air patrol is an attempt to show drivers the patrol is serious about cutting down on deadly traffic accidents. Elder says the air patrol will be used from time to time, usually without warning to the public.

A trained spotter will be on the plane and relay violators to patrol units on the ground.

Aerial patrols have been used on occasion during the past decade.

Information from: WSPA-TV,