South Carolina Driving and Traffic Laws


The rules of the road vary from state to state and so do the consequences if you do not obey them. While many of the main guidelines apply each state has its own way of dealing with the laws of their state. The following driving and traffic laws pertain specifically to the state of South Carolina.

A police officer can pull you over if it appears that you or anyone in your car is not wearing a seat belt. That means he does not have to have a special reason other than the seat belt to stop you. Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seat belt.

Children under the age of one and weighing less than 20 pounds must be in an approved child safety seat facing the rear of the automobile. Children between the ages of one and five, weighing between 20 to 40 pounds must be in a forward facing car seat. Children from one to five years old who weigh between 40 and 80 pounds can be seated in a booster seat. And once a child reaches 80 pounds no matter what age he or she is, they can use a regular seat belt.

If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol in the state of South Carolina you can lose your drivers license for with your first offense. The state also enforces increased penalties for higher blood alcohol levels. You are considered driving under the influence if you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more.

The speed limits in effect on the rural interstates and urban roads in South Carolina are all at 70 mph. The only exception is on other limited access roads where the speed limit is 60 mph. And it doesn’t matter if workers are present or not, fines are doubled if you speed through a construction site. Fines run between $75 to $200 with jail time up to 30 days.

Any violation that occurs while you are driving is considered a moving violation – running a red light, speeding, and failure to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Other instances are considered non-moving violations like having a headlight that is out or a signal light that is not working correctly.

If you get a moving violation, you should check with your car insurance carrier about the benefits of attending a safe driving class. Many times you will have to pay to attend a four to six hour class but it will eliminate the addition of any points to your license. This may save you money in the long run by preventing your insurance rates from going up.

If you have a more serious traffic violation, and you feel like you have been unjustly accused, you may want to hire an attorney who specializes in traffic issues.