Work Zone Fines May Increase
After her 22-year-old son was killed working as a flag operator by a driver that was speeding through a work zone, a South Carolina woman is petitioning lawmakers to increase penalties for those who speed through these dangerous areas. Given the name “Peanut’s Law” after the nickname of the flag operator, the bill would increase the presence of state troopers in these areas as well as increase fines and penalties for those who fail to observe speed limits.
With New Law, Penalties for Speeding in Work Zones May Increase
The driver that was responsible for the young man’s death received a $300 total fine for two tickets. The tickets were given for improper braking and driving too fast for the conditions. According to Peanut’s mother, the driver had 1,500 feet to slow down, and instead left the road and hit and killed her son.
The bill was named after her son in an effort by lawmakers to provide some consolation for his death.
Currently, speeding through a work zone brings a fine between $75 and $200, and may involve a 30 day stay in jail. The new bill intends to increase the fines to between $250 and $400 in cases where there are no accidents or injuries, and $1,000 for any incident that results in an injury or death.
More Troopers Intended to Decrease Speeding
The goal behind the bill is to provide funding to state troopers to increase their presence through construction and work zones. Supporters of the bill believe that an additional trooper or two will greatly decrease the chances of drivers speeding through these zones.
According to the Department of Public Safety, of the 790 troopers that currently work on South Carolina’s highways, only 20 are assigned to patrol work zones. The bill’s writers believe that the blue lights of a trooper vehicle will encourage drivers to slow down.
The bill also creates a new crime in the endangering of a highway worker for drivers that ignore traffic signs or speed through utility work or construction zones. An estimated 50% of the increased fines would be given to the Department of Public Safety to pay for the additional troopers at the sites.
The bill was postponed before voting so that lawmakers could obtain a more accurate estimate regarding the cost to increase the presence of troopers in work sites throughout the state. Companies that bid on construction contracts may also be required to foot the bill for the additional cost of providing additional troopers at these sites.
Consult With Us
Although traffic laws are put in place for the protection of drivers and pedestrians, there are times where the situation isn’t always what it seems. For a free consultation on any speeding or traffic tickets, contact Nosal & Jeter, LLP at 803-351-3597. We are your South Carolina traffic ticket lawyers, and we believe everyone deserves a chance to tell their side of the story.
Source: Herald Online, “SC bill increases penalties for speeding in work zone,” Seanna Adcox, March 18, 2014