Senate panel working to address town's high speeding fines - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Senate panel working to address town's high speeding fines

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Senators are working tonight to figure out what to do with the speeding fines in Turbeville.

Turbeville's highest-in-the-state speeding fines are subject of an ongoing WIS investigation that started five months ago.

Lawmakers promised action last fast fall and are working to carry that out.

When WIS last interviewed Turbeville's mayor, town would stop using its own made up speeding fines when the state forces it to.

A senate panel started work that could end up taking Turbeville on that challenge.

A senate transportation subcommittee met today to figure out whether towns like Turbeville have the authority to make up its own law or if the legislature will have to put a stop to it.

Senators continue investigating whether state law already addresses the Turbeville issue or whether state law already addresses the Turbeville issue or whether the legislature would have to pass new legislation to ban the practice. The key the panel recognized is to have one set of rules for traffic enforcement across the state.

"There was a public policy reason to have uniformity in the enforcement of these laws because as the traveling public goes from one jurisdiction to another, they don't have--they can't be expected to know these local traffic laws and these differences that might be one town to the next all through South Carolina," said Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Horry County.

The Attorney General's Office issued an opinion stating made up speeding laws like the one in Turbeville are invalid.

That opinion, Sen. Greg Hembree reminded the panel, is a good starting point in figuring out what the legislature needs to do next.

"Of course, as we all know, that's merely an opinion, it can be a persuasive opinion, but it's still just an opinion," Hembree said. "So, we're left now to try to figure out whether we want to permit these local ordinances or not."

The same panel will meet again in the next couple of weeks to prepare a bill to send up to the full senate.

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