MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Some “squatted” trucks could soon be illegal in South Carolina and the bill has the support of the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
The trucks are a Carolina staple — with a lifted front end and a lowered back end. A bill before the South Carolina senate looks to limit some of the more extreme modifications, without banning it outright.
“All of this is about safety,” said Master Cpl. Tom Vest with the Myrtle Beach Police Department. “It’s about safety for the people that visit and live in our city.”
Vest said “squatted” trucks and SUVs are a danger to everyone on the road, and he backs the bill that would limit extreme modifications to a maximum of a four-inch height difference between front and rear fenders of cars in South Carolina. It’s similar to the law that took effect in North Carolina last month.
“Keeping the modifications within a reasonable level would prevent the serious line-of-sight visibility issues as well as the serious collisions where a vehicle strikes the passenger compartment instead of a bumper,” Vest said.
“It’s about keeping our roadways safe,” Vest said. “We have a unique environment here. Even behind me we have crosswalks and pedestrians that are enjoying our beautiful weather, our beautiful parks, and if your view is severely restricted because of a modification to your vehicle, it’s very dangerous for the people on the road as well as other cars.”
Bob Danella, a service manager at Turn Key Auto Repair said his shop usually won’t work on “squatted” trucks.
“It’s a safety issue,” Danella said. “We don’t need the liability coming back to us.”
Danella said the safety issues also go beyond visibility problems.
“The front axles — if it’s a four-wheel drive — you’re gonna have bad axel problems,” Danella said. “So the oil flow goes through but it could drain to the back quickly where the front cylinders may have a little starvation of oil.”
While his shop doesn’t work to lift front ends of trucks, Danella said most repairs to get a truck back into compliance would be pretty simple.
“Put the standard shocks back on,” he said. “Put the standard brake lines back on. It’d probably be anywhere from $200 to $400 in labor then whatever parts could be needed.”
The Senate Transportation Committee is set to hear a report on the bill Wednesday morning. Should the bill pass both the House and Senate, it would not go into effect for 180 days after it was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster.