State law limits speed camera program in Horry County

State law limits speed camera program in Horry County

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County is looking into speed cameras and how effective they could be in alerting drivers to slow down.

After seeing the success of the program in other cities, one Horry County councilman proposed the measure.

The idea is to have speed cameras mounted within a half-mile of all school zones and in some residential neighborhoods within the county.

This proposed initiative was part of the discussion at Tuesday's Horry County Public Safety Committee Meeting. Councilman Bill Howard, who proposed the idea, said speeding cameras would make areas near school safer for students and drivers.

"These cameras will identify the vehicle, not the person, and these speeding tickets are issued as a parking violation and normally it is a $50 fine, and it doesn't go against their driving record," Howard explained in the meeting on Monday.

The idea of having speeding cameras in the county may be just that. According to South Carolina law, traffic or parking violations cannot be issued based on photographic evidence captured with a camera or other electronic device.

That law is listed below:

Article 5 Obedience to and Effect of Traffic Laws  Section 56-5-710. Powers of local authorities states:

                (A) Subject to the limitations prescribed in Section 56-5-930, the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power from:

                                (1) regulating the standing or parking of vehicles;

                                (2) regulating traffic by means of police officers or traffic control signals;

                                (3) regulating or prohibiting processions or assemblages on the highways;

                                (4) designating particular highways as one-way highways and requiring that all vehicles thereon be moved in one specific direction;

                                (5) regulating the speed of vehicles in public parks;

                                (6) designating any highway as a through highway and requiring that all vehicles stop before entering or crossing it or designating                                       any intersection as a stop intersection and requiring all vehicles to stop at one or more entrances at such intersection;

                                (7) restricting the use of highways as authorized in Sections 56-5-4210 and 56-5-4220;

                                (8) regulating the operation of bicycles and requiring the registration and licensing of them, including the requirement of a registration                                 fee;

                                (9) regulating or prohibiting the turning of vehicles or specified types of vehicles at intersections;

                                (10) altering the prima facie speed limits as authorized herein; or

(11) adopting such other traffic regulations as are specifically authorized by this chapter.

     (B) Nothing in subsection (A) may be construed to permit a local authority to issue a uniform traffic citation for violating a local ordinance or the traffic laws relating to speeding or disregarding traffic control devices based in whole or in part upon photographic evidence whether gathered in conjunction with radar speed detection devices and whether the camera or other electronic device capturing the photographic evidence was attended or unattended at the time it captured the photographic evidence.

HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46-282; 1952 Code Section 46-282; 1949 (46) 466; 2011 Act No. 65, Section 2, eff June 17, 2011.

Effect of Amendment

The 2011 amendment designated the existing text as subsection (A); added subsection (B); and made other nonsubstantive changes.

Howard also stated speeding cameras would save law enforcement officers time, something Carolina Forest resident Larry Kitchen agreed with.

"I try to be respectful of the speed limits in school zones, and I think it's a cheaper way than having police at every school," Kitchen said.

The public safety committee asked Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carrotti to research the legalities and costs to operate this type of program.

A report should be completed and presented at the next meeting scheduled for July 18.

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