The Ridgeland, South Carolina Police Department has undertaken a new approach to traffic enforcement along I-95. Under a supposed effort to improve highway safety and lower the number of fatalities on I-95, the Ridgeland initiated the I-95 Public Safety Program. The Program has since come under quite a bit of public scrutiny. Basically, iTraffic (an independent contractor) utilizes an automobile on I-95 equipped with a radar and video camera to document a driver's speed, the identity of the operator, and the tag of the vehicle. The company targets vehicles traveling 11 mph over the posted 70 mph speed limit. Subsequently, the Chief of Police sends a letter to the driver with a ticket if the Police can match the driver's picture with the license and tag information. The citation results in a fine ranging from $100 to $300, which can be paid without affecting the driver's record. It appears that most of the ticketed motorists simply pay the fine, rather than appearing in court to dispute the charge. As noted on our website, there are a variety of reasons this approach is the wrong approach.
The Program was initiated under S.C. Code Â§56-5-70(E), which states: Citations for violating traffic laws relating to speeding or disregarding traffic control devices based solely on photographic evidence may only be issued for violations that occur while relief from regulations pursuant to 49 CFR 390.23 has been granted due to an emergency. A person who receives a citation for violating traffic laws relating to speeding or disregarding traffic control devices based solely on photographic evidence must be served in person with notice of the violation within one hour of the occurrence of the violation. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to toll collection enforcement.