Letter: Fine is Only $100 for Yellow Line Roulette

Passing a car on a double yellow line in South Carolina is Russian Roulette. It’s the same as putting a single bullet into a pistol chamber, spinning it, putting it to your head, and pulling the trigger to see what happens.  And in South Carolina it’s punishable by a fine of $100.00 and 30 days in jail. That is, if you don’t meet an oncoming car in a crash, and then the fine is probably death to everyone involved.

Just last Tuesday on Highway 34 near Winnsboro, the bullet happened to be under the hammer, and not just the risk-taking driver died, but also the innocent head-on driver in the left lane. Two more senseless deaths.

Being in a hurry is 99% of the cause for double-yellow deaths. This behavior is not accidental behavior. This is not about being thoughtless and absent minded. This behavior is reckless, wanton, unnecessary and with total disregard for others. This behavior is playing life or death with the passer’s own life and everyone driving around him or her. And the others out there are my two little babies now 18 and 19. The law needs to change and now.

The legislature needs to get tough and pass new laws that recognize reckless (not accidental) (but intentional hurried driving) by passing on a double yellow line for what it is – felonious disregard for human life. The penalties for this reckless behavior (without any bodily injury) should be on the par with the potential risk of death. The penalty should be increased to a felony with maximums at $20,000.00 and 15 years in jail. Or more if I had my way.

Now the only penalty under S.C. Code (56-5-6190)  for intentional passing on a double yellow line is $100.00 and 30 days in jail. This crazy,  risk-taking,  wanton, reckless,  law-breaking that happens every day with the loss of innocent life as its consequences, is protected by a $100.00 fine.


Things need to change, Senator Mike Fanning and Rep. Annie McDaniel. No more lives lost for a $100.00 fine. This is a serious problem that deserves serious review and a change of the law.


Robert Hartman


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