Society Hill, South Carolina Speed Traps
On US 52 northbound, there is a small 35 mph sign at the top of the hill. There is a large 45 mph sign after the hill flattens out at the bottom that is visible halfway down the hill. Beyond that, there is a 55 mph sign at the edge of town, also visible while on the hill. To maintain 35 mph going down the hill constant application of the brake would be required. The officer at the bottom of the hill in an unmarked white Dodge Stratus with an instant-on radar gun. As your vehicle picks up speed going down the hill, the 45 mph and 55 mph signs are visible, causing the driver to keep their foot off of the brake, and virtually guaranteeing a ticket.
I was ticketed in Society Hill after leaving Town on highway 52 headed to Cheraw with out of state tags on my car. I then researched the finances to see what is going on. This Town is in Darlington County, which according to the State Treasurer in Columbia has the highest amount of "Fees, Fines and Forfeitures" of any county such that 33% of the local government budget comes from this. The usual number for other counties is about 8-10%. Society Hill in Darlington County only has 563 people (400 or so adults) but has been paying 5 police officers since at least 2002 and even 10 years ago was spending $270,000 a year on police (according to the Town’s published budget), and listed on its budget $529,000 revenue not coming from taxes or any other government source. The SC Highway Patrol reports that in 2009 there were only 7 traffic accidents in Society Hill all year. This town is "addicted" to traffic fines for its money instead of paying for the services it is supposed to provide by property taxes and government fees, and hands out between 100 and 200 tickets a week. After paying the cops and the Municipal Court bills, the Town keeps all the fine money by SC law. Don’t go near this little throw-back town.
Waited for on-coming traffic before turning left to follow Hwy 52 N out of Society Hill, downhill, a complicated traffic pattern, onto highway that appears to be outside of town and open highway with no visible speed limit signs. Passed a black Charger parked and apparently not occupied sitting at bottom of hill on left. Several minutes later, at what seemed about 5 miles further out of town, the charger drove up behind me at a leisurely speed with blue lights on. Officer (name deleted),(skinny, facial hair, apparently uneducated) asked me if I knew why he pulled me and I said no. He asked me if there was any car in front of me as I turned left onto Hwy 52 N, and I said yes, and he said I was wrong. I pointed to a mail delivery vehicle I had just passed as it pulled off to deliver mail and said that car was in front of me, and he said I was wrong. He asked me if I knew the speed limit and I said no. He said he clocked me on radar at 51 in a 35 zone, and I said he was mistaken. He took my license and registration and wrote me a ticket and told me if I paid $185 or so, I didn’t have to come back to court. I asked him if he ever wrote warning tickets and he was non-responsive. I asked to see the paper printout of the radar, and he said their radar units didn’t have a printout. I do not believe there was a visible 35 mph sign properly posted or that I was speeding inside a 35 mph zone or that he actually took a radar reading of my car or that he was even in the charger when I drove by, and I do not believe he observed me speeding, and that all he did was drive out of town to get behind a car and then pull it. If he clocked me, why did it take him nearly 5 miles to catch up behind me? This town needs a complete cleaning out of its government, and Americans should never put up with this sort of chronic corruption.
as in 55 limit when he clocked me i guess he pulled me over 4 to 6 miles from town thought he was south carolina patrol he said took that long to catch up to me 2001 chevy venture is loaded down heading back to ohio was loaded down how fast can it go little v6 family van $200. fine sent to some p.o. box called to verify sounded strange for a town no costs just $$200. fine. avoid this speed trap at all cost. ohio driver p.s. new bypass is done now to avoid this money/speed trap
What a shame. My wife and I had lots of time so we drove the back roads to see the country. $185.63 and a new member of the club. First time being stopped in over 35 years. They should be very proud of their little trap. I had my "trip set" on 51 mph and the limit was mostly 55mph. Really very upset and ruined our day. Thanks Society Hill.