(A) A person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. Speed must be so controlled to avoid colliding with a person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of a person to use care.

(B) Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection (A), the limits specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized are maximum lawful speeds, and a person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of these maximum limits:

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 56-5-1520

  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • roadway: as used in this chapter shall refer to any such roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively. See South Carolina Code 56-5-460

(1) seventy miles an hour on the interstate highway system and other freeways where official signs giving notice of this speed are posted;

(2) sixty miles an hour on multilane divided primary highways where official signs giving notice of this speed limit are posted;

(3) fifty-five miles an hour in other locations or on other sections of highways and unpaved roads are limited to the speed of forty miles an hour; and

(4) manufactured, modular, or mobile homes must not be transported at a speed in excess of ten miles below the maximum posted speed limit when the maximum posted speed limit is in excess of forty-five miles an hour, and never in excess of fifty-five miles an hour.

(C) Thirty miles an hour is the maximum speed in an urban district. "Urban district" means the territory contiguous to and including any street which is built up with structures devoted to business, industry, or dwelling houses situated at intervals of less than one hundred feet for a distance of a quarter of a mile or more.

(D) A local authority on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation may determine that the maximum speed limit permitted under this article is less than thirty miles an hour in an urban district. If this determination is made, the maximum speed limit for the urban district is enforceable by all law enforcement officers authorized to enforce the traffic laws in the urban district. However, this subsection does not apply to highways within the state highway system contained in Section 56-5-1530.

(E) The maximum speed limits set forth in this section may be altered pursuant to Sections 56-5-1530 and 56-5-1540.

(F) The driver of a vehicle shall drive, consistent with the requirements of subsection (A), at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, approaching a hillcrest, when traveling upon any narrow bridge, narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

(G) A person violating the speed limits established by this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction for a first offense, must be fined or imprisoned as follows:

(1) in excess of the above posted limit but not in excess of ten miles an hour by a fine of not less than fifteen dollars nor more than twenty-five dollars;

(2) in excess of ten miles an hour but less than fifteen miles an hour above the posted limit by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than fifty dollars;

(3) in excess of fifteen miles an hour but less than twenty-five miles an hour above the posted limit by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than seventy-five dollars; and

(4) in excess of twenty-five miles an hour above the posted limit by a fine of not less than seventy-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

(H) A citation for violating the speed limits issued by any authorized officer must note on it the rate of speed for which the citation is issued.

(I) In expending the funds credited to the state general fund from fines generated under subsection (G), the Department of Public Safety first shall consider the need for additional highway patrolmen.