Lawmakers could consider raising minimum speed limit on S.C. interstates

Lawmakers could consider raising minimum speed limit on S.C. interstates

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A bill filed by Representative Todd Rutherford (D-Richland) would increase the minimum speed limit on South Carolina interstates.

Right now in South Carolina, the minimum speed limit in 70 mph zones is 45 mph. The bill would increase the limit to 50 mph.

On Thursday afternoon, it was smooth sailing for drivers near the rest area on I-20 East in Kershaw County. Tom Paige was on his way to Myrtle Beach. He said he really hasn't noticed many drivers traveling near the posted minimum speed limit on interstates.

"Very seldom do I see someone driving the speed limit," Paige recalled.

According to the South Carolina code of law, no person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

There are posted minimum speed limits on interstates.

Kimberly Williamson, who was on her way to Wilmington for a weekend getaway, said there have been times when she's been behind a vehicle traveling well below the speed limit. She said it can be frustrating.

"We're so used to everyone trying to go the same pace, so when they're going a little bit slower it can bother you," Williamson said.

Paige said he's not sure if a change to the minimum speed limit will make too much of a difference.

Experts said vehicles traveling less than the minimum speed limit can cause congestion, road rage, and potentially lead to crashes. Troopers said it is rare to see, but some people have been issued tickets for driving slower than the posted minimum speed limit.

The legislation has been referred to a House committee. Lawmakers could take it up in 2020 when they return to Columbia.

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