1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Unannotated
Updated through the end of the 2006 Regular Session


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Title 57 - Highways, Bridges and Ferries
CHAPTER 1.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

ARTICLE 1.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

SECTION 57-1-10. Definitions.

For the purposes of this title, the following words, phrases, and terms are defined as follows:

(1) "Commission" means the administrative and governing body of the Department of Transportation.

(2) "Department" means the Department of Transportation (DOT).

(3) "Director" means the chief administrative officer of the Department of Transportation.

SECTION 57-1-20. Establishment of Department of Transportation.

The Department of Transportation is established as an administrative agency of state government which is comprised of a Division of Mass Transit; a Division of Construction Engineering and Planning; and a Division of Finance and Administration. Each division of the Department of Transportation shall have such functions and powers as provided for by law.

SECTION 57-1-30. Functions and purposes of department.

The department shall have as its functions and purposes the systematic planning, construction, maintenance, and operation of the state highway system and the development of a statewide mass transit system that is consistent with the needs and desires of the public.

The department shall coordinate all state and federal programs relating to highways among all departments, agencies, and other bodies politic and legally constituted agencies of this State and the performance of such other duties and matters as may be delegated to it pursuant to law. The goal of the department is to provide adequate, safe, and efficient transportation services for the movement of people and goods.

SECTION 57-1-40. Prohibited acts; penalties.

(A) It is unlawful for a member of the commission or engineer, agent, or other employee, acting for or in behalf of the department or commission, to accept or agree to accept, receive or agree to receive, or ask or solicit, either directly or indirectly, with the intent to have his decision or action on any question, matter, cause, or proceeding which at the time may be pending or which by law may be brought before him in his official capacity or in his place of trust or profit influenced, any:

(1) money;

(2) contract, promise, undertaking, obligation, gratuity, or security for the payment of money or for the delivery or conveyance of anything of value;

(3) political appointment or influence, present, or reward;

(4) employment; or

(5) other thing of value.

A person violating the provisions of subsection (A) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than five years and is disqualified forever from holding any office of trust or profit under the Constitution or laws of this State.

(B) It is unlawful for a person to give or offer to give, promise, or cause or procure to be promised, offered, or given, either directly or indirectly, to a member of the commission or an engineer, agent, or other employee acting for or on behalf of the commission or department with the intent to have his decision or action on any question, matter, cause, or proceeding which at the time may be pending or which by law may be brought before him in his official capacity or in his place of trust or profit influenced, any:

(1) money;

(2) contract, promise, undertaking, obligation, gratuity, or security for the payment of money or for the delivery or conveyance of anything of value;

(3) political appointment or influence, present, or reward;

(4) employment; or

(5) other thing of value.

A person violating the provisions of subsection (B) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than five years and is disqualified forever from holding any office of trust or profit under the Constitution or laws of this State.

SECTION 57-1-50. Assent to federal aid for construction of highways and related transportation projects.

The assent of the State is hereby given to the terms and provisions of any act providing for federal aid to the states for the construction of highways and other related transportation projects. The good faith of the State is hereby pledged to provide sufficient funds to meet the requirements of said federal act, so as to acquire the benefits thereof.

SECTION 57-1-60. Duties of Governor with respect to highway safety transportation programs and activities.

The Governor, in addition to other duties and responsibilities conferred upon him by the Constitution and laws of this State, is charged with the responsibility for the administration of the state's highway safety programs and is further charged with the duty of contracting and doing all other things necessary on behalf of this State and, in so doing, to work with federal and state agencies, agencies private and public, interested organizations, and with individuals to effectuate that purpose. The Governor shall be the official of this State having the ultimate responsibility for dealing with the federal government with respect to highway safety transportation programs and activities. To that end the Governor shall coordinate the activities of any and all departments and agencies of this State and its subdivisions.

SECTION 57-1-70. Department to act in compliance with Federal Aid Highway Act.

It is the sense of the General Assembly that the Department of Transportation should comply with Section 105(f) of the Federal Aid Highway Act. The department is directed to effectuate and assure the compliance through contract documents and regulations as may be necessary and such input from the Governor's Office (Office of Small and Minority Business Assistance) in the promulgation of the regulations.

ARTICLE 3.

COMMISSION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

SECTION 57-1-310. Department of Transportation Districts established; composition.

The congressional districts of this State are constituted and created Department of Transportation districts of the State, designated by numbers corresponding to the numbers of the respective congressional districts. The Commission of the Department of Transportation shall be composed of one member from each transportation district elected by the delegations of the congressional district and one member appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the Senate, from the State at large. Such elections or appointment, as the case may be, shall take into account race and gender so as to represent, to the greatest extent possible, all segments of the population of the State; however, consideration of these factors in making an appointment or in an election in no way creates a cause of action or basis for an employee grievance for a person appointed or elected or for a person who fails to be appointed or elected.

SECTION 57-1-320. County divided among two or more districts; consecutive terms limited; limit on commissioners from same county.

(A) A county that is divided among two or more Department of Transportation districts, for purposes of electing a commission member, is deemed to be considered in the district which contains the largest number of residents from that county.

(B) No county within a Department of Transportation district shall have a resident commission member for more than one consecutive term and in no event shall any two persons from the same county serve as a commission member simultaneously except as provided hereinafter.

SECTION 57-1-325. Meeting to elect district commissioner.

Legislators residing in the congressional district shall meet upon written call of a majority of the members of the delegation of each district at a time and place to be designated in the call for the purpose of electing a commissioner to represent the district. A majority present, either in person or by written proxy, of the delegation from a given congressional district constitute a quorum for the purpose of electing a district commissioner. No person may be elected commissioner who fails to receive a majority vote of the members of the delegation.

The delegation must be organized by the election of a chairman and a secretary, and the delegations of each congressional district shall adopt such rules as they consider proper to govern the election. Any absentee may vote by written proxy. When the election is completed, the chairman and the secretary of the delegation shall immediately transmit the name of the person elected to the Secretary of State who shall issue to the person, after he has taken the usual oath of office, a certificate of election as commissioner. The Governor shall thereupon issue a commission to the person, and pending the issuance of the commission the certificate of election is sufficient warrant to the person to perform all of the duties and functions of his office as commissioner. Each commissioner shall serve until his successor is elected and qualified.

SECTION 57-1-330. Commissioners, after February 15, 1994; selection; terms.

(A) Beginning February 15, 1994, commissioners must be elected by the legislative delegation of each congressional district. For the purposes of electing a commission member, a legislator shall vote only in the congressional district in which he resides. All commission members must serve for a term of office of four years which expires on February fifteenth of the appropriate year. Commissioners shall continue to serve until their successors are elected and qualify, provided that a commissioner may only serve in a hold-over capacity for a period not to exceed six months. Any vacancy occurring in the office of commissioner shall be filled by election in the manner provided in this article for the unexpired term only. No person is eligible to serve as a commission member who is not a resident of that district at the time of his appointment, except that the at-large commission member may be appointed from any county in the State regardless of whether another commissioner is serving from that county. Failure by a commission member to maintain residency in the district for which he is elected shall result in the forfeiture of his office. The at-large commission member, upon confirmation, shall serve as chairman of the commission.

(B) The terms of the initial members of the commission appointed from congressional districts are as follows:

(1) commission members appointed to represent odd-numbered congressional districts--two years; and

(2) commission members appointed to represent even-numbered congressional districts--four years.

(C) The at-large commissioner shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

SECTION 57-1-340. Oath of commissioner.

Each commission member, within thirty days after his election or appointment, and before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office, shall take, subscribe, and file with the Secretary of State the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution of the State.

SECTION 57-1-350. Seal; rules and procedures; officers; expenses.

(A) The commission may adopt an official seal for use on official documents of the department.

(B) The commission shall adopt its own rules and procedures and may select such additional officers to serve such terms as the commission may designate.

(C) Commissioners must be reimbursed for official expenses as provided by law for members of state boards and commissions as established in the annual general appropriation act.

ARTICLE 5.

DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER EMPLOYEES

SECTION 57-1-410. Commission to employ director; compensation.

The commission shall employ a director who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission. A person appointed to this position shall be a citizen of practical and successful business and executive ability who has a knowledge in the field of transportation. The director shall receive such compensation as may be established under the provisions of Section 8-11-160 and for which funds have been authorized in the general appropriation act.

SECTION 57-1-430. Duties and powers; employment of personnel.

(A) The director must carry out the policies of the commission and administer the affairs of the department and may exercise all powers belonging to the commission within the guidelines and policies established by the commission, when the commission is not in session. He must represent the department in its dealings with other state agencies, local governments, special districts, and the federal government.

(B) For each division, the director may employ such personnel and prescribe their duties, powers, and functions as he considers necessary and as may be authorized by statute and for which funds have been authorized in the annual general appropriation act.

SECTION 57-1-440. Chief counsel; staff attorneys; independent adjusters.

The director shall have the exclusive authority to employ a chief counsel and such staff attorneys and support staff as are necessary to represent the department in legal matters, condemnation procedures, and other such litigation. Any extra legal services that may be required shall be performed by attorneys selected by the director. The department is authorized to retain independent adjusters for purposes of investigating and adjusting claims and suits resulting from motor vehicle damage and personal injury damage programs involving department liability exposure and recovery potential. Expenses for the administration and implementation of this section shall be paid for from the state highway fund.

SECTION 57-1-450. Deputy directors.

The director shall appoint a deputy director for each division of the department who shall serve at the pleasure of the director and shall recommend the salary for each deputy director as allowed by statute or applicable law.

SECTION 57-1-490. Annual audit.

The department shall be audited by a certified public accountant or firm of certified public accountants once each year to be designated by the State Auditor. The designated accountant or firm of accountants shall issue audited financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and such financial statements shall be made available annually by October fifteenth to the General Assembly. The costs and expenses of the audit must be paid by the department out of its funds.






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