MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) — Some “squat” trucks may soon be illegal in South Carolina and the bill has the support of the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
Trucks are a Carolina staple – with a raised front end and a lowered rear end. A bill before the South Carolina Senate aims to limit some of the more extreme modifications, without outright banning them.
“It’s all about safety,” Master Corporal said. Tom Vest with the Myrtle Beach Police Department. “It’s about the safety of the people who visit and live in our city.”
Vest said “squatted” trucks and SUVs are a danger to everyone on the road, and he supports the bill that would limit extreme modifications to a maximum of four inches of height difference between the front fenders and back of cars in South Carolina. It’s similar to the law that went into effect in North Carolina last month.
“Keeping the modifications to a reasonable level would prevent serious line-of-sight visibility issues as well as serious crashes where a vehicle hits the passenger compartment instead of a bumper,” Vest said.
“It’s about keeping our roads safe,” Vest said. “We have a unique environment here. Even behind me we have crosswalks and pedestrians taking advantage of our good weather, our beautiful parks, and if your view is severely restricted due to a modification to your vehicle, it’s very dangerous for people on the road as well as for other cars.
Bob Danella, service manager at Turn Key Auto Repair, said his shop generally wouldn’t work on “squatted” trucks.
“It’s a safety issue,” Danella said. “We don’t need the blame on us.”
Danella said security concerns also go beyond visibility issues.
“The front axles – if it’s a four-wheel drive – you’re going to have big axle issues,” Danella said. “So the oil flow passes but it could flow quickly to the rear where the front cylinders could run out of oil a bit.”
Although his shop doesn’t operate to lift the front ends of trucks, Danella said most repairs to bring a truck back into compliance would be fairly simple.
“Put the standard shocks back in place,” he said. “Put the standard brake lines back in place. It would probably cost between $200 and $400 in labor and then any parts that might be needed. »
The Senate Transportation Committee is scheduled to hear a report on the bill Wednesday morning. If the bill were passed by both the House and the Senate, it would not come into force until 180 days after it was signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster.