Speed Patrol: Drivers confused about speed limit

Myrtle Beach, SC - By Jennifer Grove - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC  (WMBF) - Every week WMBF News Speed Patrol checks into viewers' concerns about drivers cruising over the posted limit. Many drivers, however, are unsure of how fast they should be going when a speed limit is not posted along a roadway.

According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the general rule along Palmetto State roadways where a limit is not posted is an understood 35 mph. Municipalities, however, can elect to have their own default speed set with the approval of SCDOT.

In Myrtle Beach, for instance, the area speed limit is lower that the state's 35 mph.

"When in doubt and you're not sure, the area-wide speed limit in the City of Myrtle Beach is 30 mph unless otherwise posted," said Jim Allen, of the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Kelly Hoagland, who lives and works at the Market Common, had no idea about the area speed limit. She says by the looks of traffic out her flower shop window, she is likely not the only one who was unaware of the 30 mph rule.

"Some people that are familiar with the area just cruise down as fast as they want to," Hoagland said. "Other people that are just interested in what's going on... they're going slow."

Eric Putthoff, who owns a shop up the block, agreed: "Traffic on Howard Avenue is not too bad, but it always seems to fly by and people don't pay attention to what's around them."

He says he has seen his fair share of speeders along Howard Avenue.

"Sometimes people come flying through here and I yell out 'slow down,'" he said. "They don't listen."

Putthoff believes that having a standardized speed when the limit is not posted is critical in a tourism-driven area, but he says it does not do much good if people do not know about it.

"Something along that line needs to be made public at all times because of the influx of people that we have from different areas and they just don't realize," Putthoff said.

Myrtle Beach police say signs are posted at different points in the city to help get the word out. They say area speed limit sign locations include the intersection of Farrow Parkway and Shine Avenue, Highway 15 just off of Harrelson Boulevard and 76th Avenue off of Bypass 17.

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