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Bill increases penalties for speeding in work zone

COLUMBIA (AP) — A bill to encourage drivers to slow down in highway construction zones across South Carolina would increase penalties and state troopers’ presence.

Supporters say the measure is essential to the safety of drivers and workers in the dangerous areas.

Elizabeth Ward of Georgetown told a Senate panel the driver who killed her 22-year-old son last August in Williamsburg County received just two tickets totaling $300. She said Kenneth Long Jr. died in his third week as a flag operator.

Sen. Greg Hembree told Long’s family the bill will be considered “Peanut’s law,” after Long’s nickname.

The measure would create the crime of endangering a highway worker by speeding or ignoring traffic signs. Half of the increased fines would go to fund troopers at work zones.

The subcommittee postponed a vote.

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