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A286, R409, H3778
Sponsors: Reps. Herbkersman, Bailey, Bowers, Ceips, Clark, Clemmons, Duncan, Gilham, Haskins, J. Hines, Hinson, Hosey, Littlejohn, Lloyd, Lourie, Mahaffey, Merrill, Miller, Moody-Lawrence, J.H. Neal, Pinson, E.H. Pitts, Richardson, Rivers, Sandifer, Scarborough, Simrill, Sinclair, Snow, Toole, Umphlett, Vaughn, Viers, White and Whitmire
Document Path: l:\council\bills\swb\5200cm03.doc
Introduced in the House on March 12, 2003
Introduced in the Senate on February 26, 2004
Last Amended on June 2, 2004
Passed by the General Assembly on June 3, 2004
Governor's Action: July 22, 2004, Signed
Summary: Drivers involved in accidents must avoid obstructing traffic
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3/12/2003 House Introduced and read first time HJ-7 3/12/2003 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-7 2/18/2004 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary HJ-14 2/19/2004 Scrivener's error corrected 2/25/2004 House Amended HJ-27 2/25/2004 House Read second time HJ-31 2/26/2004 House Read third time and sent to Senate HJ-16 2/26/2004 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-8 2/26/2004 Senate Referred to Committee on Transportation SJ-8 4/28/2004 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Transportation SJ-31 4/29/2004 Senate Amended SJ-29 4/29/2004 Senate Read second time SJ-29 4/29/2004 Senate Ordered to third reading with notice of amendments SJ-29 6/2/2004 Senate Amended SJ-75 6/2/2004 Senate Read third time and returned to House with amendments SJ-75 6/3/2004 House Debate adjourned HJ-45 6/3/2004 House Concurred in Senate amendment and enrolled HJ-61 6/3/2004 Ratified R 409 7/22/2004 Signed By Governor 7/28/2004 Copies available 7/28/2004 Effective date 07/22/04 8/3/2004 Act No. 286
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
(A286, R409, H3778)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-1210, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DUTIES OF A DRIVER OF A VEHICLE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT THAT RESULTS IN INJURY TO OR THE DEATH OF A PERSON, SO AS TO ALLOW THE DRIVER TO TEMPORARILY LEAVE THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT TO REPORT IT TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN PERSONS MAY MOVE OR HAVE REMOVED FROM THE TRAVELED WAY ALL DISABLED VEHICLES, VEHICLES INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT, AND DEBRIS CAUSED BY A VEHICLE TRAFFIC COLLISION UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES WITHOUT INCURRING LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES TO A VEHICLE THAT RESULTS FROM ITS REMOVAL UNLESS THE REMOVAL WAS DONE IN A RECKLESS OR GROSSLY NEGLIGENT MANNER, TO ASSIGN THE REASONABLE COSTS OF REMOVAL TO CERTAIN PARTIES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT RECOVERY FROM AN AT-FAULT PARTY IS NOT BARRED WHEN AN ACCIDENT IS CAUSED BY THE ACTIONS OF THAT PARTY; TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-1220, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE DUTIES OF A DRIVER INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT THAT RESULTS IN DAMAGE TO A VEHICLE WHICH IS DRIVEN OR ATTENDED BY A PERSON, SO AS TO DELETE THE TERM "COLLISION", TO PROVIDE THAT THE DRIVER MAY TEMPORARILY LEAVE THE ACCIDENT SCENE TO REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES, TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT REQUIRES THAT THE DRIVER MUST STOP THE VEHICLE WITHOUT OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC, TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE FOR A DRIVER TO FOLLOW WHEN MOVING A DISABLED VEHICLE OR A VEHICLE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT RESULTING ONLY IN DAMAGE TO A VEHICLE FROM A ROADWAY, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE DRIVER OR ANY OTHER PERSON WHO MOVES THE VEHICLE IS NOT LIABLE OR AT FAULT REGARDING THE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT SIGNS MAY BE ERECTED ALONG HIGHWAYS AND STREETS THAT INSTRUCT THE PUBLIC THAT DRIVERS OF CERTAIN VEHICLES SHALL MAKE A REASONABLE EFFORT TO MOVE THE VEHICLES OFF A ROADWAY; TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-4100, RELATING TO THE SPILLAGE OF LOADS ALONG HIGHWAYS, SO AS TO REVISE THE TYPE OF MATTERS THAT MAY BE SPILLED FROM A VEHICLE THAT ARE COVERED BY THIS PROVISION, TO PROVIDE THAT AN OPERATOR OF A VEHICLE THAT SPILLS CERTAIN MATTER ALONG A HIGHWAY MUST MAKE EVERY REASONABLE EFFORT TO REMOVE THE MATTER FROM THE HIGHWAY, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN AGENCIES MAY REMOVE THE MATTER FROM A HIGHWAY IF THE VEHICLE OPERATOR DOES NOT REMOVE THE MATTER WITHOUT INCURRING LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES TO THE MATTER UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE AND ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR CLAIMS OF DAMAGES THAT MAY RESULT FROM THE FAILURE TO EXERCISE ANY AUTHORITY PROVIDED IN THIS PROVISION, AND TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS SHALL BEAR THE COSTS OF THE REMOVAL, STORAGE, AND DISPOSITION OF ANY MATTER COVERED BY THIS PROVISION; BY ADDING SECTION 56-5-1536 SO AS TO DEFINE, PROVIDE FOR THE REGULATION OF TRAFFIC THROUGH, AND PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING PROVISIONS THAT REGULATE TEMPORARY WORK ZONES; AND TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-765, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO INVESTIGATIONS OF TRAFFIC COLLISIONS INVOLVING A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY'S MOTOR VEHICLES OR MOTORCYCLES, SO AS TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES, TO PROVIDE THAT ANY INVESTIGATION THAT OCCURS AS A RESULT OF A COLLISION INVOLVING A POLICE VEHICLE MUST INCLUDE A FIELD INVESTIGATION TO IDENTIFY POSSIBLE WITNESSES, AND TO DEFINE THE TERM "INVOLVED IN A TRAFFIC COLLISION".
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Duties of a driver involved in an accident
SECTION 1. Section 56-5-1210 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 398 of 1996, is further amended to read:
"Section 56-5-1210. (A) The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of a person immediately shall stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible. He then shall return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of Section 56-5-1230. However, he may temporarily leave the scene to report the accident to the proper authorities. The stop must be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. A person who fails to stop or to comply with the requirements of this section is guilty of:
(1) a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than one year or fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or both, when injury results but great bodily injury or death does not result;
(2) a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than ten years and fined not less than five thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars when great bodily injury results; or
(3) a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not less than one year nor more than twenty-five years and fined not less than ten thousand dollars nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars when death results.
(B) Law enforcement officers or authorized employees of the Department of Transportation may move or have removed from the traveled way all disabled vehicles and vehicles involved in an accident and any debris caused by motor vehicle traffic collisions where it can be accomplished safely and may result in the improved safety or traffic flow upon the road; however, where a vehicle has been involved in an accident resulting in great bodily injury or death to a person, the vehicle shall not be moved until it is authorized by the investigating law enforcement officer. The State, its political subdivisions, and its officers and employees are not liable for any damages to vehicles that result from the removal unless the removal was carried out in a reckless or grossly negligent manner. The vehicle owner and any driver, or the owner's, driver's, or the at-fault party's insurance company, of a vehicle removed under this subsection, or the owner's, driver's, or the at-fault party's insurance company, shall bear all reasonable costs of removal.
Nothing in this section shall bar recovery from an at-fault party when the accident was caused by the actions of that party.
(C) As used in this section, 'great bodily injury' means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.
(D) The department shall revoke the driver's license of the person convicted pursuant to this section."
Duties of a driver involved in an accident
SECTION 2. Section 56-5-1220 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 398 of 1996, is further amended to read:
"Section 56-5-1220. (A) The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by a person immediately shall stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible, but shall return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of Section 56-5-1230. However, he may temporarily leave the scene to report the accident to the proper authorities. A person who fails to stop or comply with the requirements of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or both.
(B) If a disabled vehicle or a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle is obstructing traffic, the driver of the vehicle shall make every reasonable effort to move any vehicle that is capable of being driven safely off the roadway as defined by Section 56-5-460 so as not to block the flow of traffic. The driver or any other person who has moved a motor vehicle to facilitate the flow of traffic as provided in this subsection before the arrival of a law enforcement officer shall not be considered liable or at fault regarding the cause of the accident solely by reason of moving the vehicle pursuant to this section.
(C) State and local authorities may erect signs along highways and streets that instruct the public that the driver of a disabled vehicle or a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to vehicles shall make every reasonable effort to move any vehicle that is capable of being driven off the roadway."
Spillage of loads along highways
SECTION 3. Section 56-5-4100 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-5-4100. (A) No vehicle may be driven or moved on any public highway unless the vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle, except that sand, salt, or other chemicals may be dropped for the purpose of securing traction, and water or other substance may be sprinkled on a roadway in the cleaning or maintaining of the roadway by the public authority having jurisdiction.
(B) Trucks, trailers, or other vehicles when loaded with rock, gravel, stone, or other similar substances which could blow, leak, sift, or drop must not be driven or moved on any highway unless the height of the load against all four walls does not extend above a horizontal line six inches below their tops when loaded at the loading point; or, if the load is not level, unless the height of the sides of the load against all four walls does not extend above a horizontal line six inches below their tops, and the highest point of the load does not extend above their tops, when loaded at the loading point; or, if not so loaded, unless the load is securely covered by tarpaulin or some other suitable covering; or unless it is otherwise constructed so as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, blowing, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle. This subsection also includes the transportation of garbage or waste materials to locations for refuse in this State.
(C) The loader of the vehicle and the driver of the vehicle, in addition to complying with the other provisions of this section, shall sweep or otherwise remove any loose gravel or similar material from the running boards, fenders, bumpers, or other similar exterior portions of the vehicle before it is moved on a public highway.
(D) Any person operating a vehicle from which any substances or cargo, excluding water, have fallen or escaped, which would constitute an obstruction or injure a vehicle or otherwise endanger travel upon the public highway, shall make every reasonable effort to immediately cause the public highway to be cleaned of all substances and shall pay any costs for the cleaning.
If the person does not make every reasonable effort to clean the public highway promptly, the Department of Transportation or any law enforcement officer may, without the consent of the owner or carrier of the substance or cargo, remove or have removed the substance from the public highway if the substance or cargo is blocking the public highway or endangering public safety. The State, its political subdivisions, and their officers and employees are not liable for any damages to the substance or cargo that may result from the removal or the disposal of the substance or cargo unless the removal or disposal was carried out recklessly or in a grossly negligent manner. The State, its political subdivisions, and their officers and employees are not liable for any damages or claims of damages that may result from the failure to exercise any authority granted under this section. The owner, driver of the vehicle, or motor carrier of the substance or cargo removed under this subsection shall bear all reasonable costs of its removal and subsequent storage or disposition.
Nothing in this section bars a claim for damages.
(E) Any person who violates the provisions of subsections (B), (C), or (D), is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined one hundred dollars.
(F) The provisions contained in subsections (A), (B), and (C) are not applicable to and do not restrict the transportation of seed cotton, soybeans, tobacco, poultry, livestock or silage, or other feed grain used in the feeding of poultry or livestock or of paper, wastepaper utilized for the manufacture of industrial products, paper products, forest products, or textile products."
Temporary work zones
SECTION 4. Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 56-5-1536. (A) A temporary work zone area is an area on a roadway identified by orange work zone signs or equipment with flashing lights, and the presence of workers on the scene.
(B) A temporary work zone is a special hazard.
(C) The driver of a vehicle shall keep his vehicle under control when approaching or passing a temporary work zone area. The exercise of control required for a driver to comply with this section is that control possible and necessary by the driver to avoid a collision, and to avoid injury to persons or property.
(D) A person driving a vehicle approaching a temporary work zone area shall proceed with due caution, significantly reduce the speed of the vehicle, and:
(1) yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized temporary work vehicle or equipment, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four lanes with not less than two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
(2) maintain a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes is impossible or unsafe.
(E) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of endangering temporary work zone personnel and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than three hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars."
Investigations of traffic collisions
SECTION 5. Section 56-5-765 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 277 of 2002, is further amended to read:
"Section 56-5-765. (A) When a motor vehicle or motorcycle of a law enforcement agency, except a motor vehicle or motorcycle of the department, is involved in a traffic collision that: (1) results in an injury or a death, or (2) involves a privately-owned motor vehicle or motorcycle, regardless of whether another motor vehicle or motorcycle is involved, the State Highway Patrol must investigate the collision and must file a report with findings on whether the agency motor vehicle or motorcycle was operated properly within the guidelines of appropriate statutes and regulations.
(B) When a motor vehicle or motorcycle of the department is involved in a traffic collision that: (1) results in an injury or a death, or (2) involves a privately-owned motor vehicle or motorcycle, regardless of whether another motor vehicle or motorcycle is involved, the sheriff of the county in which the collision occurred must investigate the collision, regardless of whether the collision occurred within an incorporated jurisdiction, and must file a report with findings on whether the department's motor vehicle or motorcycle was operated properly within the guidelines of appropriate statutes and regulations.
(C) A law enforcement department or agency must not investigate a traffic collision in which a motor vehicle, a motorcycle, or an employee of that department or agency is involved that: (1) results in an injury or a death, or (2) involves a privately-owned motor vehicle or motorcycle, regardless of whether another motor vehicle or motorcycle is involved.
(D) A law enforcement agency that has primary responsibility for an investigation involving a motor vehicle, a motorcycle, or an employee of another department or agency, but lacks the expertise to conduct a proper investigation, may request assistance from another agency that has the appropriate expertise, as long as the assisting agency or an employee of the assisting agency is not a subject of the investigation. A request made pursuant to this subsection shall result in a joint investigation conducted by both agencies.
(E) A person who knowingly and wilfully violates the provisions of subsection (C) is subject to punishment as provided for in Section 8-1-80, even if the person's authority extends beyond a single election or judicial district.
(F) An investigation of a traffic collision involving a motor vehicle, a motorcycle, or an employee of a law enforcement agency or department must include a field investigation to identify possible witnesses, including possible witnesses not involved in the traffic collision, but who may have witnessed the traffic collision from a vantage point other than the collision site.
(G) For purposes of this section, 'involved in a traffic collision' includes a law enforcement motor vehicle or motorcycle engaged in a pursuit when a traffic collision occurs."
SECTION 6. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 3rd day of June, 2004.
Approved the 22nd day of July, 2004.
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