A bill that would toughen penalties for those caught driving recklessly around highway construction workers is now on Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk awaiting his approval.
Lead sponsor State Rep. Bill Hixon, R-North Augusta told South Carolina Radio Network the measure would help pay for marked law enforcement vehicles in construction zones.
“Nothing else gets your attention any quicker than some blue lights on behind you, especially when you are approaching them because that means something is going on,” Hixon said.
The legislation would also increase fines and fees for violations in highway construction zones. “Part of the fine and fee money would go to help offset the police that they would need to have their blue lights on at night or their blue lights on in the day time,” Hixon said.
South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Secretary Christy Hall supported the measure. On March 13, two SCDOT highway crew workers were killed in a hit-and-run crash in Aiken County. 54-year-old Tony Redmond and 64-year-old Robert Clark were killed as they were inspecting a reported washout just off SC Highway 421 near Clearwater. A third employee was struck on the hand and was not seriously injured. The driver was later arrested and charged with hit-and-run charges.