Proposed law to increase fine for speeding in work zones

Fines increase in construction zones

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Getting stuck in a construction zone can be really frustrating, which is why a lot drivers speed through them.

You may want to rethink how fast you're driving through those orange cones. If a proposed law is put into place, racing through construction could cost you big time. That new law aims to make highway construction zones safer.

Right now, the current fine for speeding through a work zone is $75 to $200 and/or up to 30 days in jail. Sen. Greg Hembree is the sub-committee chairman and says the proposal would raise fines to $500 to $1,000 if no one is injured; and the repercussions will only worsen from there. If someone gets hurt, you could pay $2,000, but the more serious the injury, the greater the fine, plus jail time for about 60 days.

The law is named Peanuts Law, after 22-year-old Kenneth Long Jr., a construction worker nicknamed "Peanut," who was killed on the job in Williamsburg County.

Construction workers on Kings Highway say they support the new law. They say it would keep them from looking over their shoulders every time you speed past them

"For example, this morning, we had someone coming through, wasn't paying attention, was hitting the barrels as we had guys working on the sidewalks, so it is a big concern, it's something that I'm responsible for keeping an eye out," says Benton Foreman Jeff McKee. "Just making sure I'm watching traffic so these guys can do their job so we can move the progress of the job along."

The money from increased fines would go towards more law enforcement in construction zones, which workers on Kings Highway say makes a difference.

"We've seen it on some of the other projects we've done where some of the officers have kind of hung around the project a little more. Safety wise, just get the people to slow down so that we don't have to keep looking over our shoulder wondering if either one of those big barrels are gonna come barreling at us or a vehicle," says McKee.

The transportation committee will talk about this bill and then it will head to the senate floor.

Sen. Hembree says we should get a final decision on it in the next two weeks.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.