NMA Speed Trap Spotlight: South Carolina

South Carolina speedtrap spotlight

South Carolina is home to one of the most distinctive landmarks in America: the famous peach-shaped water tower in Gaffney. Look for it along I-85, but don’t get too distracted. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for speed enforcement, especially in the Bluffton/Hilton Head Island area.

This information comes from the NMA’s National Speed Trap Exchange (http://www.speedtrap.org/), a unique website that gives drivers an opportunity to report on and exchange comments about predatory speed traps they have encountered on their travels.

Five Highest Activity Speed Trap Locations

1.     Bluffton:              Near the BMW dealership on SC 278

168 Reports           97% Acknowledgement Rate*

“On Saturday and Sunday mornings, there is a BCSD Dodge Durango sitting off SC 278 tagging people for revenue. You won’t see the revenue trap until after you have been tagged.”

2.     Bluffton:              The Circle where SC 46 meets SC 170.

145 Reports           99% Acknowledgement Rate

“Be careful when you’re traveling on 170 to Savannah. As you approach the circle, it drops from 55 to 35 quickly, barely any warning. A cop sits in one of the islands, waiting for you to come around the bend, with the radar gun out the window waiting. A huge revenue trap.”

3.     Bluffton:              Buckwalter PKWY various places in the median

65 Reports             98% Acknowledgement Rate

“Bluffton PD must be hurting for revenue because as of lately they have been in the median tagging people traveling along various spots on Buckwalter PKWY. Beware when traveling along this road.”

4.     Bluffton:              HWY 278 eastbound near the HHI bridges.

63 Reports             97% Acknowledgement Rate

“Right before the bridges to HHI, this morning on my commute to Hilton Head, I saw a SC Highway patrol standing outside his car, either using laser or radar pointing at incoming traffic. They must be hurting for revenue.”

5.     Jamestown:           Jamestown (Berkeley County)

63 Reports             98% Acknowledgement Rate

“Not really a town, although there is a blinking light. Policeman is ready to pounce after speed reduction sign, although you are still in what seems to be the country. Very chatty and friendly when issuing a $200 fine for speeding. The township will take off points for an approximate $70 increase in the ticket (by the phone). Speed limit in this area (not even a village) has no realistic relation to the rural nature of the locality. I am a slow driver and have found that it is best to avoid SC country roads due to the poor economy in these areas; and the obvious reliance on unfair tickets to support the economy.”

Ten South Carolina Cities with Most Reported Speed Traps (for the Last Five Years) 



Number   of Speed Traps

Acknowledgement   Rate


Myrtle Beach




Society Hill



































* Acknowledgement rate is the percentage of yes votes to total votes by motorists indicating whether the reported locations, in their opinions, are actually speed traps. Data are available at the links provided.

About The National Speed Trap Exchange

With the development of The National Speed Trap Exchange (http://www.speedtrap.org/) more than 10 years ago, the National Motorists Association pioneered the use of interactive media to alert motorists to potential speed trap activity in their communities. Since then the site has reported on nearly 80,000 speed traps throughout the United States and Canada.

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Leave a Comment

2 Responses to “NMA Speed Trap Spotlight: South Carolina”

  1. Parris Boyd says:

    Thanks, NMA, for exposin' the multi-billion dollar "speeding" ripoff, and for helping motorists in Police State USA.

  2. seenmuch says:

    I know that stretch of I-85 well. I have been traveling on it since it was first built, parts of it use old US 29s route. I made that trip many times before the limit dropped to 55. And plenty of times when it was posted @ 60. Today it is all 65 in the old and 70 in the widened and bypass parts..

    Today at least some stretches have been widened and the posted limit is higher than it was when I drove on it in the 70s & 80s. But there are stretches today where it should be 80 but is only posted @ 70. SCHP takes well advantage of those stretches for enforcement to pad the state's budget….

    I-77 from Charlotte to Columbia is also a speed trap that could safely be posted @ 80 today, close to normal average on that ~90 mile drive..There are a few places where SCHP sits regularly collect their toll…

    The Conway bypass SC 22, is another place where the posted limit is a bad joke, 60 maximum. It is built to freeway, interstate standards so could and does easily safely handle 75-80….

    The ~16 miles of US 123 between Easily and Clemson is built to freeway standards but today is only posted @ 60. I have seen the flow on that freeway safely handle the mid 70s mph for 30+ years now….