Highway Workers’ Safety Act Becomes Law in South Carolina
Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall, members of the SCDOT Commission, members of the Aiken County Legislative Delegation and others will join Governor Henry McMaster in Aiken Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 as he signs House Bill H. 4033 into law at SCDOT’s Aiken County facility located at 1931 University Parkway.
Special guests at this event will be Mrs. Tina Redmond, widow of SCDOT highway worker Anthony “Tony” Redmond and Mrs. Robin Clark, widow of SCDOT worker Robert “Bob” Clark.” Both men were killed while inspecting a shoulder washout in Aiken County on March 13 of this year. A driver has been charged with leaving the roadway and traveling through the work zone on the shoulder. In addition, Jerome Fee, brother of the late Paul Fee is expected to attend. Paul Fee was an SCDOT Highway worker in Richland County who was killed in a work zone in early 2015.
Overall, SCDOT has recorded a total of 39 workers who were killed in work zones throughout the agency’s history. In addition to the loss of Mr. Redmond, Mr. Clark and Mr. Fee in the last five years, SCDOT Richland County worker Nicholas Johnson lost his life on I-20 in Lexington County while assisting with a crew there and Darlington County worker Ray Norris was killed on a road in that county in that same five-year period.
This legislation is designed to significantly increase the penalties for motorists who speed through work zones above the posted limits. The fines range from $500 to $5,000 for endangering a highway worker without injury, to causing bodily harm, to the death of a highway worker. The fines collected for these offenses will be used to provide more law enforcement officers who will focus on patrolling work zones.
Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall said this act provides a significant step in protecting highway workers. “We cannot bring back those men and women we have lost, but this legislation stands as a severe warning to all motorists as they approach work zones that they could be putting the lives of highway workers – and their own lives in jeopardy. This new law gives significant and true meaning to our motto; Let ‘em Work, Let ‘em Live,” said Hall.
Hall added that the additional revenue recently provided by the General Assembly will begin to accumulate over a six-year period. She noted that as this road repair fund increases, more work and work zones will be occurring all across South Carolina.