CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - On Gardner Lacy Road in Carolina Forest the signs say 35 mph, but the speeds beg to differ according to some concerned WMBF News viewers.
One viewer wrote: "I drop my kids off every morning and I wanted to tell you that intersection you were filming at is the WORST! My wife has been hit at that intersection before, and who knows who else has experienced a wreck there too?!"
Another viewer contacting WMBF News of Facebook shared their concern about speeding: "I was doing 35 in a construction vehicle right up to the school zone sign and was being passed like I was sitting still."
"I don't think I've ever seen someone do 35," Joe Federico said. "The average speed out there is at least 45."
Sure enough, the WMBF News radar gun found a number of drivers gassing it towards US-501.
"I do have a scooter as well," Federico said. "I feel like I'm going to get mowed down on Gardner Lacey quicker than I am on [Highway] 544."
Federico says he is worried about more than just himself getting mowed down along the busy roadway.
"You can't be going 45 mph, 40 mph past a school," Federico said. "There's a lot of teen drivers and there's a lot of kids walking up and down Gardner Lacy Road"
When school lets in and out the limit drops to 25, but some drivers are not slowing down, making things difficult and potentially dangerous around the intersection of the school.
"Getting in is fine, getting out is a little scary sometimes," admitted Doris Otte who drives her granddaughter to high school every day.
She says it is not uncommon to see people slamming on their brakes in the intersection.
"I do believe that I take chances that I shouldn't take sometimes to get out there because I know that people are backed up behind me," Otte said.
South Carolina Highway Patrol says because the school zone signs do not have flashing lights and they remain in place year-round according to SCDOT, drivers should obey the school limit year-round during the hours of 8-9 a.m. and 3-4 p.m.
Horry County says school zone fines are broken down the same way they are in any other speed zone in the county: by mph over.
- Less than 10 mph over the posted limit is an $81.50 fine.
- From 11-15 mph over is a $133 fine.
- From 16-24 mph over is a $185 fine.
- 25 or more mph is a $355 fine.