Highway 17Alt, Blinking Light Corner Area, Gas Station There
At the blinking light I turned left onto 17A. I’m headed to Conway, SC. Just after turning left was a speed limit sign of 40 mph (maybe 45) so I maintained 40. Drove probably a half-mile up the road and you could see the 55 mph sign, about a quarter mile up the road. So I engaged the cruise control resume feature which was set on 56, close enough to 55, and my truck accelerated. Within about 1,000 feet of the 55 sign a County Sheriff car passed me going in the opposite direction, and the car immediately wheeled around, spun the tires and came after somebody. I knew it wasn’t me because I wasn’t speeding. By this time I had passed the 55 sign I was blue lighted and the deputy came up to my passenger side door…informed me that I was going 59 in a 40 zone. I stated I could see the 55 sign which meant I was in a 55 zone…and I was informed that the speed limit does not increase to 55 until you pass this sign. I’ve been driving for 50+ years and have never heard that explanation, had driver training courses, and safe driver courses at work, and nobody has ever mentioned this little tidbit to me. I was ticketed and was told to call the municipal court if I wanted a court time. I called and told the nice lady the details, and asked if I should come to court. She said she had sat in on many traffic cases, hearing how the judge operates, and that many people had been ticketed just like me, and that the judge never dismisses the ticket or reduces the fine. Since I live 150+ miles away there was no need for me to return to this situation. My fine was $180 but I was offered the “deal-for-the-day” of paying $237 and my ticket would be reduced to a local traffic misdemeanor with 0 points and nothing reported to my insurance company. After hearing that story I knew I had been ticketed in a speed trap, and that is all this it. I contacted the GA State Patrol, asked about the legal side of this, and was told the rule is just as it was explained to me, but that in GA if you are within 1,500 feet of a changing speed limit you are permitted to accelerate with no worry of being ticketed. And I explained the pricing deal and the trooper said he had never heard of a town operating in that fashion, and he also described this as a speed trap. That little town, that judge, and the state of SC should be embarrassed and ashamed to allow this speed trap to exist. And as others have written, I will never go anywhere near Jamestown again and will encourage others to do the same. Their economy will not benefit from me ever again. In GA a county cannot have more than 30%*/- of their operating funds come from traffic fines…if higher it is classified as a speed trap. If that happens the state steps in and eliminates that embarrassment. SC is a great state and they should step in here.