SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Squatted cars are officially banned in the state of South Carolina. Law enforcement said they can be dangerous.
Drivers are no longer allowed to have a car where the front fender is raised four or more inches higher than the rear fender. Right now, drivers will just be getting warnings.
When the front of your car is higher than the rear, officials said it can impact more than just you.
“It can potentially cause hazards for other drivers, as well as folks driving those vehicles. We’re getting numerous complaints about the headlights being too bright, headlights being in your face,” said Master Trooper Brandon Bolt with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Bolt said cars are made level for a reason. When you raise your car like this, it changes the center of gravity.
“I see four of five of them, probably, a day. It’s a younger trend, so you’re seeing folks that have are in high school, or just had graduated high school, do this,” he said.
He said it not only impacts the vision of the driver, but others on the road.
“Obviously you’re tilted back, just like you would be sitting in a recliner at home, that makes it hard to see,” he said. “Your high beams are already set higher than your low beams, so when you raise the front of that vehicle, even if you lower your headlights, your high beams are going to be directly in people’s eyes.”
Jonathan Bolton owns Bolton-James Tire & Alignment, Inc.
“We don’t do squatted, not because we dislike it, it’s just a possible liability issue for us with being able to see,” he said.
He said the drivability of these cars is not the issue, as long as they have proper parts. The visibility is the problem.
“The argument can be you can always raise your seat, or change the angles, and yeah, that would have an effect. But still, it increases just with a 7-inch rake from front to rear, it increases a good 60-65% further than where you can actually see the road,” he said.
After the warning period, drivers of squatted vehicles will be fined.
“The first fine is $100, next fine is $200, and the next is a $300 fine, with a subsequent driver’s license suspension,” said Bolt. “We’re going to be out there doing our job, diligently, stopping these folks, especially if it causes a hazard.”
The warnings will continue for 180 days, then citations will start. Bolt said now is the time to get your cars fixed.
As for body shops that work on the squatted cars, Highway Patrol said there is nothing in the statute about them.