South Carolina has two types of speeding laws, maximum speed limits (also called “absolute” limits) and a basic speeding law. Here are how these speed limits work and the penalties you’ll face for a speeding ticket.
South Carolina’s basic speeding law prohibits driving at a speed greater than is “reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.” In other words, regardless of the posted speed limit, motorists must always drive at a speed that is safe given the current driving conditions.
For instance, while 25 miles per hour might be perfectly safe on a certain roadway with ideal conditions, the same speed could be dangerous if the roadway were wet and slippery.
Maximum speed limits are straightforward—if you exceed the posted maximum limit, you’ve violated the law and can be ticketed. The maximum speed limits in South Carolina include:
However, even in an area where maximum speed limits are posted, a motorist can never lawfully drive faster than is reasonable and prudent given the current circumstances. Also, certain vehicles are subject to more strict maximum limits.
A speeding violation is a misdemeanor in South Carolina. The consequences of a speeding ticket generally depend on how much faster than the speed limit the motorist was driving. For a first offense, the following penalties apply.
For second and subsequent convictions, the penalties can be more severe. And any speeding ticket will typically add demerit points to a driver’s record.
Depending on the circumstances, speeding could lead to a “reckless driving” conviction. And with speed violations that result in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.