New Proposed Bill Will Double Fines for Speeding in Work Zones in SC
A proposed bill in the South Carolina Senate will at least double fines for speeding through work zones in the state.
Elizabeth Ward, from Georgetown County, testified before the senate on March 18th, regarding the speeding-related death of her son, Kenneth Long, Jr. Long was 22 years old and working at a construction site when a drunk driver was speeding through the area, and struck and killed Long.
“The gentleman did not even slow down through the work zone area,” she said. “He had 1,500 feet to hit his brakes and try to slow down and he didn’t. He left the road and my son was running for his life when he hit and killed him.”
However, the driver’s speeding penalty was only $310, and four points on his license.
The current senate bill would double the speeding fine through a work zone from $250 to $400, if no one gets hurt. If a worker is injured, the speeding fine skyrockets to $1,000 and a jail sentence of 60 days.
After hearing the testimony, however, senators suggested they should amend the bill to $500 for speeders, if no one is injured in a work zone – if someone is injured, then thespeeding driver would have to pay $2,000 and spend a currently undetermined amount of time in jail.
Sen. Yancey McGill, D-Kingstree, said of the bill, “This is huge! I’ve been in the Senate 26 years. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Half of the fine money would also go to pay state troopers to monitor work zones for potential speeding or distracted driving.
“I can’t begin to tell you how many incidents we had,” Highway safety consultant Earl Capps told senators. “Drivers going through work zones, going through closed lanes. One of them destroyed my car going 90; blew a .15 (blood alcohol level) an hour afterwards. We had at least two dozen company vehicles hit by people in closed lanes. We had a number of fatalities.”
Billy Grayson, safety officer for Banks Construction, said, “Our guys, they’re tough highway workers, but they are still fearful of stepping foot into a work zone at night because of the things that we’ve seen on almost a daily basis. Not just night time but day time. We have near-misses with people driving in work zones hitting equipment. We’ve had people hit.”
His boss, Reid Banks, agreed that placing state troopers at work zones would make the difference in speeding and distracted driving, more than financial penalties. “We might get ’em once every couple of weeks. We need ’em on our jobs every night,” he said.
Peanut’s grandmother, Alberta Howard Bratcher, said of the proposed fine increase, “No amount of money will bring him back. But just maybe another family won’t have to suffer what we’ve suffered and will suffer the rest of our life.”
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Speeding and Distracted Driving Car Accident Injury and Wrongful Death Cases
Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, whether from a defective product or in a speeding or distracted driving car accident, you may have a wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800