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Bill Number: 2524 Ratification Number: 269 Act Number 189 Introducing Body: House Subject: Speed limits
(A189, R269, H2524)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 56-5-1510, 56-5-1520, AND 56-5-1540, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO SPEED LIMITS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT ON THOSE PORTIONS OF THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM OR ON OTHER STREETS AND HIGHWAYS IN SOUTH CAROLINA WHERE FEDERAL LAW PERMITS THIS STATE TO RAISE THE SPEED LIMIT ABOVE FIFTY-FIVE MILES AN HOUR, THE SPEED LIMIT THEREON IS THAT HIGHER SPEED LIMIT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Speed limit raised
SECTION 1. Section 56-5-1510 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-5-1510. It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle upon the streets and highways of this State at a speed in excess of fifty-five miles an hour, except that on those portions of the interstate highway system or on other streets and highways in South Carolina where federal law permits this State to raise the speed limit above fifty-five miles an hour, the speed limit thereon is that higher speed limit."
Speed limits, further
SECTION 2. Section 56-5-1520 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-5-1520. (a) General rule. No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed must be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use care.
(b) Maximum speed limits. Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with paragraph (a) of this section, the limits specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized are maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of these maximum limits:
(1) thirty miles an hour in any urban district;
(2) fifty-five miles an hour in other locations or on other sections except where speeds above fifty-five miles an hour are otherwise provided by Section 56-5-1510.
'Urban district' means the territory contiguous to and including any street which is built up with structures devoted to business, industry, or dwelling houses situated at intervals of less than one hundred feet for a distance of a quarter of a mile or more.
The maximum speed limits set forth in this section may be altered as authorized in Sections 56-5-1530 and 56-5-1540.
(c) When lower speeds required; penalties; citation for violating speed limits. The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of paragraph (a), drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, approaching a hillcrest, when traveling upon any narrow bridge, narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.
Any person violating the speed limits herein established is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, for a first offense must be fined or imprisoned as follows:
(1) in excess of the above posted limit but not in excess of ten miles an hour by a fine of not less than five dollars nor more than twenty-five dollars or imprisoned for not more than ten days;
(2) in excess of ten miles an hour but less than twenty-five miles an hour above the posted limit by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than fifty dollars or imprisoned for not more than twenty days; and
(3) in excess of twenty-five miles an hour above the posted limit by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than thirty days.
Any citation for violating the speed limits issued by any authorized officer shall note thereon the rate of speed for which the citation is issued."
Speed limits; further
SECTION 3. Section 56-5-1540 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-5-1540. (a) Establishing speed zones. Whenever local authorities in their respective jurisdictions determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that the maximum speed permitted under this article is greater or less than is reasonable and safe under the conditions found to exist upon a highway or part of a highway, the local authority may determine and declare a reasonable and safe maximum limit thereon which:
(1) decreases the limit at intersections; or
(2) increases the limit within an urban district but not to more than fifty-five miles an hour, except that speed limits above fifty-five miles an hour are required when stipulated by Section 56-5-1510; or
(3) decreases the limit outside an urban district, but not to less than thirty-five miles an hour.
(b) Setting maximum limits on arterial streets. Local authorities in their respective jurisdictions shall determine by an engineering and traffic investigation the proper maximum speed for all arterial streets and shall declare a reasonable and safe maximum limit thereon which may be greater or less than the maximum speed permitted under this article for an urban district.
(c) Signs. Any altered limit established as hereinabove authorized is effective at all times or during hours of darkness or at other times as may be determined when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the street or highway.
(d) Approval of altered limits by Department. Any alteration of maximum limits on state highways or extensions thereof in a municipality by local authorities is not effective until the alteration has been approved by the Department of Highways and Public Transportation.
(e) Limitations on alterations. Not more than six such alterations as authorized above may be made for each mile along a street or highway, except in the case of reduced limits at intersections, and the difference between adjacent limits must not be more than ten miles an hour."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.