Some call it the "Cali Lean," others the "Tennessee Tilt." But here in the Palmetto State, it is affectionally (or scornfully) referred to as the "CAROLINA SQUAT." Squatted vehicles (mostly pickup trucks) is an aftermarket modification that lowers the rear suspension and raises the front. If you look at the vehicle from the side, it literally appears to be "squatting." Two years after a pedestrian was struck and killed by a squatted vehicle in Myrtle Beach, there has been a push to ban these type of modifications. Law Enforcement has been long in favor of such legislation, citing reduced driver visibility, headlight trajectory, and elevated bumpers that would not align with other vehicle's bumpers in the event of a collision. Furthermore, mechanics have stated that such modifications causes the vehicle to breakdown and deteriorate at an accelerated rate. “The transmissions aren’t designed to operate the front end higher than the rear end. The pumps don’t pick up the fluid enough, it ends up burning up clutches or your gears in the transmission And it just doesn't operate well," said Joey Lemmon, Owner of Hound Dog 4x4 Automotive repair shop.
Earlier this month the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to outlaw these type of modifications, and it was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster on May 16th, 2023. The law will go into effect 180 days later. The new law (S.C. Bill 363) will allow Law Enforcement to stop vehicles with such modifications and issue violations. First violations of the law will result in a $100 fine. A second offense is $200 and a third will lead to a $300 fine and driver's license suspension for a year. The law also bans driving any vehicles, besides pickup trucks, that have been elevated or lowered more than 6 inches while still being leveled. Penalties range from $25 to $50, according to the law.
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