Inside city of Turbeville, SC
My wife and I were looking forward to a Myrtle Beach vacation. However, the vacation was ruined before we even got to our destination. We made the mistake of driving through the town of Turbeville, SC. What a mistake! Unfortunately, we were pulled over by the Turbeville police and ticketed for going 53 miles per hour in a 35 mile an hour zone. Our Garmin said the speed limit was 55 mph. The police officer (who was driving a new, rich looking, tank of a patrol car), informed us that the Garmin was a navigational aid only and that the speed limit had been changed. OK, apparently we were speeding. We can take our knocks and pay for our mistakes. Then, we got the mimeographed ticket which informed us that the bond was $388.00. $388.88 dollars! This was a bond! According to the text on the ticket, we are allowed to mail in the bond, but in order to find out what the actual ticket amount is, we need to show up for a trial in Turbeville on August 30th! Really? Show up for a trial? If we don’t show up for the trial and we mail Turbeville the $388.00, the matter will be resolved. My guess is that $388.00 is a price point, an amount high enough for the city of Turbeville to make money, but low enough so that it is not worth the effort for me to make a special trip from Atlanta, back to South Carolina, so that I can pay the actual fine. To me, this is extortion. And, why can’t I pay the actual speeding ticket online or via the mail? Why can’t I make a phone call to the Turbeville court, find out the fine, and then mail in the payment? When we arrived at our rental house in Surfside Beach, we happened to mention our ticket to the rental house maintenance men. They said, “Oh, we know Turbeville. Those guys are terrible!” Obviously, our case is not an isolated incident. How many other families have been hit with this, and then been unable to spend their vacation money at their destination? Maybe I should start a blog on social media and find out!
So, we are on vacation now for a family reunion with a total of 14 people. Have we been able to spend any money in Myrtle Beach? No. My wife probably would have gone shopping at the Tanger Outlets, but we will be spending $388.00 on a traffic ticket bond instead. I usually like to buy a T-shirt or a sweat shirt, but the $388.00 will go to Turbeville, SC instead. We went to Broadway at the Beach. Did we spend any money? Yes, we bought two ice cream cones. No souvenirs though. Will we come back to South Carolina for a vacation? Not if I can help it. Why patronize South Carolina when we can go on a beach vacation in Georgia or Florida instead? In Georgia, we have a speed trap law that probably would have prevented this type of abuse. This is important because Georgia has recognized that it is probably not a good idea for the state to be viewed as narrow-minded, provincial, and unsophisticated. It is not good for the state economy and it is definitely not good for the tourism industry to leave a bad taste in a visitor’s mouth. More than likely, we will be vacationing in Florida next year.