LEAD LETTER OF THE WEEK

Letter | Proposed ‘pokey driver’ law won’t work on U.S. 501

December 29, 2013 

Re: Dec. 14 column by James Werrell, Rock Hill Herald opinion editor, “Lawmaker offers fix for pokey drivers”

A bill filed by state Rep. Josh Putnam from Greenville would make it illegal to drive 5 miles per hour below the posted speed limit in the left lane and would outlaw driving in the left lane except to pass other cars.

You need to read the other details of this bill. Mr. Werrell indicated that it deserves to pass. I am in favor of this bill if used only for interstate highways such as I-95. Trucks are not permitted in the fast lane and also drivers going too slow for posted speed limits.

I do hope that both Mr. Werrell and Mr. Putnam intend this as noted and not for regular state highway s where the norm is 55 mph.

I have to assume that Mr.Werrell has never visited Myrtle Beach and never driven on our U.S. 501 with four lanes of traffic. The drivers in the fast lane on 501 are not pokey drivers, as stated by Mr. Werrell. This group using the fast lane on certain portions of 501 are defensive and careful drivers, not pokey drivers.

For Mr. Werrell to understand this statement, he would need to visit Myrtle Beach using 501 through Conway heading to Myrtle Beach. After leaving the Conway city limits, continue to first traffic light where Conway National Bank is on your right side and a left turn traffic light where traffic is either going to the lumber processing center, schools or business entities.

The second traffic light is just a short distance, and requires a left turn lane to visit many business locations and residences. The third traffic light is located across from Coastal Carolina University and the same reasons for the left turn including a TV station and more facilities for the university.

Now you can proceed to the fourth traffic light which is only a short distance where the large Lowes store is located on your left. After this intersection, the fifth light is only a short distance where Wild Wing Golf and homes, condos, etc. are located.

Now we are moving to the sixth traffic light located on Gardner Lacey Rd. where Carolina Forest High School is located. University housing and a mixture of residential communities are located in same area.

The highest level of traffic is at the seventh traffic light, at Carolina Forest with approximately 35,000 residents with business locations, apartments and a mixture of housing developments.

I wanted Mr. Werrell to understand that in order to make a left turn at this many traffic lights with such low mileage between lights, we would never be able to stay in the right lane in order to merge to the left lane to make a left turn. Such heavy traffic on501 is now year round, and not just at vacation time. It is a big difference in traffic from my move to Myrtle Beach in 1992.

Just so you avoid a speeding ticket after you leave Conway, you should know the posted limit is 50 miles per hour until you pass the fourth traffic light at Lowes store.

Drive carefully.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.

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