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


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Title 57 - Highways, Bridges and Ferries


SECTION 57-15-10. Counties may grant charters for ferries; reports to Secretary of State.

The governing body of every county may grant charters for ferries and establish ferries under the provisions of this chapter and shall report all such charters to the Secretary of State immediately after they are granted.

SECTION 57-15-20. Renewal of charter; application for charter.

When the charter of any ferry has expired or is about to expire, it may be renewed or rechartered, and when a ferry is needed where no ferry has been heretofore chartered, it may be chartered by application to the governing body of the county in which the ferry is needed, and when the ferry is across a river at a point where such river is the boundary between two or more counties, then to the respective governing bodies of the counties concerned. The application shall be by petition after notice as required by law and after strictly observing and complying with all prerequisites required by law before the granting of such charters.

SECTION 57-15-30. Duration and revocation of charter.

Such charter shall be granted to the applicant (petitioner), his heirs and assigns, for a term not to exceed twenty-one years and shall be subject to revocation at any time by the governing body which granted or renewed it, for such cause as to it may seem just and proper.

SECTION 57-15-40. Form of charter.

The following shall be a sufficient form for such charter:

The State of South Carolina, County of __________: On the petition of __________, and it appearing that the public good will be observed thereby, a (or the) ferry across __________ river at __________, to be known as (or known as) __________ ferry, is hereby chartered (or rechartered), and vested in __________, the petitioner, his heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, for the term of ___ years, subject, however, to be revoked in the discretion of the governing body of said county at any time. Given under our hands and seals of office, this the ___ day of __________, A. D. 19___.

SECTION 57-15-50. Transportation of passengers, goods or cattle within one mile of established ferry.

If any person living within the space of one mile of any established ferry in any part of this State shall, for any fee, toll or reward whatsoever, transport any person, goods or cattle from one side only to the other of that river where any such established ferry shall be kept, the person taking any such fee, toll or reward shall forfeit and pay to the proprietor of the ferry next adjacent to the place where such fare was taken up treble the value of the fee, toll or reward given, paid or promised, to be recovered by warrant, under the hand and seal of one magistrate, or be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not exceeding thirty days, any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding. But in case any passenger shall be detained more than half an hour at any such ferry, then any person living near such ferry may be at liberty to transport him, anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding.

SECTION 57-15-60. Rates of toll.

The following shall be the maximum rates of toll that shall be charged at each public ferry in this State chartered under the provisions of this chapter:

(1) For every passenger, five cents, except in the case of public steam ferries on which a maximum rate of ten cents for a single trip or passage may be charged;

(2) For every head of sheep, goats, hogs and other small animals, five cents;

(3) For every horse, mule and head of cattle, ten cents;

(4) For every passenger with single horse, mule, ox or other riding animal, twenty cents;

(5) For every single-horse buggy, cart or other vehicle, twenty-five cents;

(6) For every two-horse wagon or other vehicle, fifty cents;

(7) For every three-horse wagon or other vehicle, sixty-five cents; and

(8) For every four-horse wagon or other vehicle, seventy-five cents.

The governing body of any county may fix lower rates of toll for any one or more specific ferries in such county as the special local conditions and circumstances may demand, and in cases of ferries crossing rivers or streams forming boundary lines between any two counties, such lower rates may be fixed by the governing bodies of such two counties.

SECTION 57-15-70. No tolls shall be charged when ferryboat not used.

It shall not be lawful to exact from the citizens of this State, nor shall any of them be compelled to pay, any toll for crossing any ferry within the limits of this State or for the crossing of their horses, cattle or other property at any such ferry when the boat or flat kept at such ferry is not used by them for such purpose.

SECTION 57-15-80. Private ferries shall pass exempt persons free.

The keepers of all private ferries usually putting over passengers for hire shall pass over, free of charge or expense, all such persons as are by law exempted from the payment of ferriage at ferries established and allowed by act of the General Assembly.

SECTION 57-15-90. Delaying passenger at ferries.

All managers and keepers of public ferries shall afford applicants immediate passage across the ferry at all hours, day and night, at the usual fees and charges. Every ferryman or ferry keeper of any public ferry who, by absence from the ferry or by negligence, causes the detention and delay at the ferry of any bona fide applicant for passage at such ferry for the space of one hour or more shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be fined five dollars or imprisoned thirty days for each offense. But this section shall not apply to steam or free ferries.

SECTION 57-15-100. Keepers of ferries shall keep banks in order.

Every person keeping a ferry shall keep in good order the banks of the river or creek at such ferry. In case of neglect he shall be subject to a fine of three dollars for each and every day of such neglect, to be recovered before any magistrate having competent jurisdiction.

SECTION 57-15-110. Slips shall be kept in repair by owners of ferries.

All persons who may have charters for any ferry where it is necessary that slips should be used shall keep them in repair at their private expense.

SECTION 57-15-120. Aprons shall be attached to ferry flats.

Each ferry owner or keeper in this State shall provide and keep attached to each end of his ferry flat a good and sufficient apron or, not having such aprons, shall keep, at each and every landing place, a good and sufficient abutment or inclined plane for the same. For default or neglect in so doing he shall be fined in a sum not exceeding ten dollars for every three days' continuance of such default, to be recovered in any court having jurisdiction. One half of any such fine shall go to the use of the State and the other half to the informer.

SECTION 57-15-130. Railing guards required for ferryboats.

Every person owning or operating any ferryboat or flat which is used on any of the navigable streams of this State or is landed upon soil thereof shall place and provide guards or a railing around the boat or flat so as to protect the lives and property of those using it. Any person violating the provisions of this section, on conviction thereof, shall be liable to a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not exceeding thirty days.

SECTION 57-15-140. Department shall operate ferry across intracoastal waterway.

The Department of Transportation shall take over, maintain and operate the ferry across the intracoastal waterway which traverses State Highway No. 716 which extends from a point on U. S. Highway No. 17, south of Georgetown, in a southeasterly direction, to Winyah Bay, such ferry and its approaches to form a part of State Highway No. 716 in Georgetown County. The provisions of Article 13 of Chapter 5 of this Title shall not apply to the operation, repair or maintenance of any such ferry.

Contributions from private citizens or public or private agencies may be made with respect to defraying the operational or maintenance expenses of such ferry; provided, however, that any such contribution shall in no wise render legally liable or responsible any of the contributors.

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