Squat truck drivers may want to embrace this summer in the Myrtle Beach area.
Come next summer, drivers of the modified vehicles could face fines based on a new state law passed in May that bans the vehicles in South Carolina.
South Carolina joins North Carolina and Virginia as the only states to so far ban the trucks.
Although the law went into effect July 1, the General Assembly included language that the law wouldn’t actually take effect until 180 days after approval by the governor. Following that 180 days, which would be in November, only warning tickets will be issued to violators of the law.
Local law enforcement agencies are using this time as an education period for drivers of vehicles that have been lowered or elevated, which are typically known as a Carolina squat truck.
But although there is a grace period before actual tickets and fines will be administered under the squat truck ban, it doesn’t mean that squat truck drivers can’t receive tickets for other issues.
“That said, tickets may be issued for any number of related equipment violations, when and as necessary to maintain public safety on our roadways,” Horry County Police spokesperson Mikayla Moskov said by text Wednesday.
She could not provide a number of such tickets that have been written, adding that individual tickets would “cross multiple types” and cannot be easily tracked.
Once tickets can start being written under the squat truck ban, violators face penalties of between $100 and $300, and could have their licenses suspended for chronic offenses.
Traffic may look different on Ocean Boulevard
Ocean Boulevard in the Myrtle Beach area may look different next summer.
Myrtle Beach is a haven for squat trucks, which often can be seen traveling down the city’s busy main drag along Ocean Boulevard.
Once officers, including Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, are allowed to issue tickets, that scene could drastically change.
Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock played a key role in outlawing the trucks, testifying multiple times during state committee hearings.
One incident used to encourage the ban was the death of a pedestrian, who was struck and killed by a Carolina squat truck in the city during the summer of 2021.
What is a squat truck?
The Carolina squat is a trendy alteration usually found on a pickup or SUV that lifts the front of the vehicle and lowers the rear.
The actual definition under state law is a height differential of at least four inches between a vehicle’s front and rear fenders.