Current Status Bill Number:
3356Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19970204Primary Sponsor: StilleAll Sponsors: Stille, Knotts, Cotty, M. Hines, Quinn and MaddoxDrafted Document Number: dka\4017cm.97Residing Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Education and Public Works Committee 21 HEPWSubject: Motor vehicle drivers licenses, beginner's permits, special restricted; Driver Improvement and Alcohol Education program
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19970204 Introduced, read first time, 21 HEPW referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 56-1-405 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A DRIVER IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AND AN ALCOHOL EDUCATION PROGRAM; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-50, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE APPLICATION, ISSUANCE, AND RENEWAL PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING A BEGINNER'S PERMIT AND EXEMPTIONS FROM THIS PROCEDURE, SO AS TO REVISE THE AGE OF A PERSON WHO MAY OBTAIN A BEGINNER'S PERMIT, TO PROVIDE WHEN A PERMIT HOLDER MAY TAKE A DRIVER'S LICENSE EXAMINATION, TO REVISE THE AGE AND DRIVING EXPERIENCE OF A PERSON WHO ACCOMPANIES A PERMIT HOLDER, AND TO PROVIDE THE AGE AND EXPERIENCE OF A PERSON WHO ACCOMPANIES A PERMIT HOLDER ON A MOTORCYCLE; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-100, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO AN UNEMANCIPATED MINOR'S APPLICATION FOR A BEGINNER'S PERMIT, INSTRUCTION PERMIT, OR A DRIVER'S LICENSE, SO AS TO ELIMINATE THE INSTRUCTION PERMIT, TO INCLUDE A PROVISION FOR A SPECIAL RESTRICTED DRIVER'S LICENSE, TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE TO REINSTATE A LICENSE OR A PERMIT WHEN A MINOR'S COSIGNER IS SUSPENDED OR REVOKED, OR WHEN THE COSIGNER DIES, TO PROVIDE THE PROCEDURE FOR A PERSON WHO IS LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE AND WHO HOLDS A SPECIAL RESTRICTED DRIVER'S LICENSE TO OBTAIN A DRIVER'S LICENSE; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-130, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO LICENSE EXAMINATIONS AND THE AUTHORITY GRANTED BY BASIC AND CLASSIFIED LICENSES, SO AS TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE TO WAIVE CERTAIN DRIVER'S LICENSE EXAMINATIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-180, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE SPECIAL RESTRICTED DRIVER'S LICENSE, SO AS TO REVISE THE AGE OF A PERSON WHO MAY APPLY FOR THE LICENSE, TO ELIMINATE A REFERENCE TO THE INSTRUCTION PERMIT, TO REVISE REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN THE LICENSE, AND TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE TO MODIFY OR WAIVE THE REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN THE LICENSE; TO AMEND SECTION 59-39-320, RELATING TO RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION REGARDING DRIVER EDUCATION AND TRAINING COURSES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED UNDER THIS PROVISION MUST BE ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 56-1-405. (A) The Department of Public Safety shall create a driver improvement program and an alcohol education program. The purpose of the programs authorized under this section is to provide driver rehabilitation. The department shall determine the content of the programs. The alcohol education program shall provide three hours of instruction in:
(1) the hazards of driving while impaired or intoxicated;
(2) the criminal penalties for alcohol and drug-related motor vehicle violations;
(3) the medical, biological, and psychological effects of the consumption of alcohol and drugs and their impact on the operation of a motor vehicle; and
(4) any other drug and alcohol-related information that the department determines would be beneficial to applicants for a driver's license.
(B) If an individual who holds a special restricted driver's license is convicted of one or more moving violations:
(1) the court shall require the individual to attend a driver improvement program or alcohol education program; and
(2) as a condition of reinstatement of a special restricted driver's license, the department may require the individual to attend a driver improvement program or alcohol education program.
(C) The department may waive attendance at a driver improvement program or an alcohol education program conducted by the department if an individual attends a private driver improvement or an alcohol education program provided by a political subdivision of the State that is approved by the department."
SECTION 2. Section 56-1-50 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 121E, Part II, Act 497 of 1994, is further amended to read:
"Section 56-1-50. (A) A person who is at least fifteen years and nine months of age may apply to the department for a beginner's permit. After the applicant has passed successfully all parts of the examination other than the driving test, the department may issue to the applicant a beginner's permit which entitles the applicant having the permit in his immediate possession to drive a motor vehicle on the public highways for not more than twelve months. The holder of a beginner's permit may take the driver's license examination not more than fourteen days after the permit is issued. This requirement may be waived if a subsequent beginner's permit is applied for or issued. While driving the permittee must be accompanied by a licensed driver eighteen twenty-one years of age or older who has had at least one year three years of driving experience, and who is occupying a seat beside the driver, except when the permittee is operating a motorcycle. A three-wheel vehicle requires the accompanying driver to be directly behind the driver on a saddle-type seat or beside the driver on a bench-type seat. The holder of a beginner's permit may drive a motorcycle with another person on it only if the other person is at least twenty-one years old and has been licensed to drive at least three years. A beginner's permit may be renewed or a new permit issued for additional periods of twelve months, but the department may refuse to renew or issue a new permit where the examining officer has reason to believe the applicant has not made a bona fide effort to pass the required driver's road test or does not appear to the examining officer to have the aptitude to pass the road test. The fee for every beginner's or renewal permit is two dollars and fifty cents, and the permit must bear the full name, date of birth, and residence address and a brief description and color photograph of the permittee and a facsimile of the signature of the permittee or a space upon which the permittee shall write his usual signature with pen and ink immediately upon receipt of the permit. No A permit is not valid until it has been so signed by the permittee.
(B) A student regularly enrolled in a high school of this State which conducts a driver training course is not required to obtain a beginner's permit to operate a motor vehicle while the student is participating in the driver training course and when accompanied by a qualified instructor of the driver training course.
(C) Also exempted from the requirement of the beginner's permit are persons enrolled in driver training courses conducted by driver training schools licensed under Chapter 23 of this title. However, these persons at all times must be accompanied by an instructor of the school and may drive only an automobile owned or leased by the school which is covered by liability insurance in an amount not less than the minimum required by law."
SECTION 3. Section 56-1-100 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 121G, Part II, Act 497 of 1994, is further amended to read:
"Section 56-1-100. (A) The application of an unemancipated minor for a beginner's permit, instruction permit special restricted driver's license, or driver's license must be signed and verified before a person authorized to administer oaths by the father, mother, or guardian or, for all other minors, by a responsible adult who is willing to assume the obligation imposed under this article upon a person signing the application of a minor. Upon the extension of a permit pursuant to Section 56-1-50, authorization by the father, mother, guardian, or a responsible adult is not required.
(B) If, while the licensee is a minor, the department receives a written request that the license of the cosigner be suspended or revoked, or if the cosigner dies, the department shall suspend the license of the minor and may not reinstate the license or permit until:
(1) another qualified adult cosigns and certifies an application; or
(2) the minor becomes an adult.
(C) If the applicant for a driver's license is less than eighteen years of age and is the holder of a special restricted driver's license, the applicant is entitled to receive a driver's license if the applicant:
(1) has possessed a valid special restricted driver's license for the twelve-month period preceding the date of the application for a driver's license; and
(2) has not been convicted of a traffic violation during the period contained in subsection (C)(1) for which points may be assessed pursuant to this title and has completed an approved driver education course."
SECTION 4. Section 56-1-130 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 459 of 1996, is further amended to read:
"Section 56-1-130. (A) The department shall examine every applicant for a driver's license, except as otherwise provided in this article. The examination shall include includes a test of the applicant's eyesight, his ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic, and his knowledge of the traffic laws of this State and shall include includes an actual demonstration of ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of the type motor vehicle, including motorcycles, for which a license is sought. The department may require such further physical and mental examination as it deems considers necessary to determine the applicant's fitness to operate a motor vehicle upon the highways, such further examination to be at the applicant's expense. The department shall make provisions for giving an examination in the county where the applicant resides. The department shall charge an appropriate fee for each complete examination or reexamination required in this article.
(B) No persons A person, except those exempted under Section 56-1-30 and Section 56-1-60 or those holding beginner's permits under Section 56-1-50, shall not operate any classification of motor vehicle without first being examined and duly licensed by the driver examiner as a qualified driver of that classification of motor vehicle.
(C) A basic driver's license authorizes the licensee to operate motor vehicles, three-wheel vehicles, or combinations of vehicles which do not exceed twenty-six thousand pounds gross vehicle weight; provided, that the driver has successfully demonstrated the ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle in this category. A basic driver's license also authorizes the licensee to operate farm trucks provided for in Sections 56-3-670, 56-3-680, and 56-3-690 which are used exclusively by the owner for agricultural, horticultural, and dairying operations or livestock and poultry raising.
(D) A classified driver's license shall authorize authorizes the licensee to operate a motorcycle or those vehicles in excess of twenty-six thousand pounds gross vehicle weight which are indicated by endorsement on the license. The endorsement may include classifications such as: motorcycle, two-axle truck, three or more axle truck, combination of vehicles, motor-busses or oversize or overweight vehicles. The department shall determine from the driving demonstration the number of endorsements to be indicated on the license.
(E) Except as provided in this section, the department may waive any driver's license examination contained in this title if the applicant:
(1) holds a valid driver's license under this title; or
(2) holds a valid driver's license from:
(a) another state;
(b) a territory or possession of the United States, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; or
(c) a province or territory of Canada.
(F) The department may not waive the vision requirement required by this section."
SECTION 5. Section 56-1-180 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 490 of 1992, is further amended to read:
"Section 56-1-180. (A) The department may issue a special restricted driver's license to a person who is at least fifteen years old and less than sixteen years old under eighteen years of age, who first has acquired a beginner's permit, or an instruction permit has possessed a valid beginner's permit for at least fourteen days immediately before the date of the application, surrenders the beginner's permit, pays the required fee, and who has successfully passed the road tests or other requirements as the department may in its discretion may prescribe. The special restricted driver's license is valid only under the following conditions:
(1) in the operation of all type vehicles, except that between the hours of six o'clock p.m. and six o'clock a.m. the holder of the special restricted driver's license must be accompanied by a licensed adult, twenty-one years of age or more, or accompanied by the holder's parent or guardian. However, beginning on the day that daylight saving time goes into effect through the day that daylight saving time ends, the holder of the license does not need to be accompanied before eight o'clock p.m.;
(2) in the operation of farm machinery and equipment, other than a passenger car, while engaged in agricultural pursuits; and
(3) in the operation of a motor scooter or light motor-driven cycle of five-brake horsepower or less.
(B) The department may modify or waive the restrictions contained in subsection (A) if the restrictions would adversely affect:
(1) the employment or opportunity for employment of the licensee; or
(2) the opportunity of the licensee to participate in athletic events and related training sessions."
SECTION 6. Section 59-39-320 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-39-320. The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules and regulations for establishment by local school districts of approved driver education and training courses, and when duly promulgated shall have full force and effect of law. Regulations promulgated under this section must be administered by the Department of Education and the Department of Public Safety for their respective driver education programs. Such The regulations shall require that credit for completion of a driver education training course shall must not be given unless the course shall have included includes not less than thirty classroom hours of instruction in driver education, and not less than six hours of actual behind-the-wheel driving."
SECTION 7. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.