State senators have a chance to make roads in South Carolina safer

State senators have a chance to make roads in South Carolina safer

SUMMERVILLE, SC - State senators have a chance to make the roads in South Carolina a little safer for both drivers and the construction workers who maintain those roads.

"Peanut's Law" is a proposed bill named after Kenneth "Peanut" Long- a flagman killed in a highway construction accident in Williamsburg County- the person who struck Peanut was only fined 300 dollars for the accident.

The idea behind Peanut's Law is pretty straightforward, if you speed or drive recklessly through a construction zone, you're faced with tough fines, and even tougher jail time.

Some supporters even say it'll save taxpayer dollars because construction workers will work faster in a safer work zone. But it's still taken three tries to get the bill through the senate. Even now, it's still not up for debate.

Peanut Long was killed in 2013 and a version of Peanut's Law was proposed almost immediately in that year's legislative session. It didn't pass due to vague language about where the money from increased speeding fines would go.

Senators tried again and failed again in 2014 for the same reason.

Now, a third version of the bill is on deck in the Senate for a vote.

Lawmakers and construction workers, like Banks Construction safety director Billy Grayson, hope the third time in the Senate's the charm.

This version of the bill lays out explanations for penalties, including a thousand dollar fine for speeding in the work zone, and puts those collected fines towards covering the cost of extra law enforcement patrols through construction zones.

Grayson says his company has been following the attempts to get Peanut's Law to the governor's desk, and watching each attempt fail has been frustrating.

"We've attended a couple of the meetings, and I think the biggest hurdle has been getting the right language in the bill," Billy Grayson said. "So people understand exactly what it means."

Peanut's law has gotten more support in the Senate this year, it actually got unanimous support to put it on the calendar for debate.

Representatives say they'll support the bill if it does move from the Senate across the hall to the House.

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