Olar, South Carolina Speed Traps
Olar is a dying town containing a couple of vacant stores and will continue to die, because of the absence of travel though it. I was told by a trucker not to go through the town because it is a speed trap. Take 301 instead. But the gps told me to take 321. While passing the vacant store with no traffic in sight, I admit I went over the 30 mph section that is in effect for about 100 yards. The cop who of course is there to serve and protect, gave me my first ticket in over forty years that took one fourth of my monthly social security check. There was no one present in the town nor anyone traveling on the road to protect and the only people he was serving were the magistrate and himself to their salaries.
Driving east on 64 by taking back roads from Augusta area toward Charleston. This route takes you through several small towns where the speed limit drops precipitously over a short distance. Oler is no different. As with all other previous towns, I obeyed the speed limit changes as quickly as possible. As I approached 321 and the railroad tracks a few feet in front of it, I saw an unmarked black car. My speed at this time was under 20 MPH. After proceeding past the stop sign, I noiced this black car had blue lights flashing and was pulling me over. I asked my wife why I was being pulled over and we agreed that we weren’t sure.
The officer claimed he clocked me at 50 in a 35, which to me is impossible as I was driving cautiously and slowed down as quickly as possible within reason immediately after being able to visually see the posted speed limit every time it changed (55 to 45 to 30 or 35 as I may recall). After receiving my ticket, he had it marked as 50 MPH in a 30.
I was driving through from out of state. There’s no way I can fight this as I’m long gone now. Even if I could contest it, it’s my word against his. Absolute garbage and completely unfair. Looks like I’m not alone here.
You would think that with all the warning postings on this site that one would be cognizant of the fact and slow down BEFORE reaching posted speed limit signs thus keeping them from getting a ticket. I live in OLAR and I can say that in front of my house which is clearly a residential section of town on SC 64 that I see vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit quite frequently. It is a good thing that I have retired from law enforcement (federal) or I would be out there being the one writing the tickets. It is my understanding that the ticket doesn’t cost you any points against your drivers license and is a town ordinance ticket. Be thankful he isn’t writing you a state code ticket. That would definitely effect your insurance as well as the points against your drivers license.
Olar is a creepy town. The police car is a plain black charger with no makings indicating it is a police car. There are very dark windows and no light bar, not even a low profile light bar. Unlike other police cars, radio antenna were not visible and all blue lights are inside the car. As a lone women travelling through Olar and having a mysterious unmarked car pull behind me with lights flashing, I found it unsettling. It would have been less frightening if the police in Olar would identify their cars as police cars. After reading comments from others about Olar and the responses from the policeman and his wife, I conclude the main reason for an unmarked car is not to serve and protect but to generate revenue.
How does a village of 253 people with less than 160 residential homes at a median value of about $48,000 taxed at a rate of 0.0948 mils within 0.8 square miles obtain sufficient funds to operate a city, pay salaries, buy insurance, etc. They invest in a couple of chargers, of course; put blue lights on them, hire a police chief and part-time deputy and sit out on Highway 64 waiting for unsuspecting people to drive through their friendly village. In South Carolina the progression for speeds is 55-45-35; but not in Olar. In Olar it is 55-45-30 and the progression comes very quickly. Well to make a long story short, both my GPS and my speedometer read 37mph (yes I was speeding) but I was cited at 44 and given a $180 ticket. The check is to be made payable to the City of Olar. I will not fight the ticket, but after reading other reports of Olar, I will write a letter to the South Carolina Attorney General asking for some interdiction on behalf of people who travel Highway 64 and Highway 321.