Highway Transportation and Safety

The South Carolina Republican Party believes transportation in our state is at a crossroads. To make it through this juncture there must be a focus on maintenance and financial wherewithal for major projects across the State. At the same time, we recognize major systemic flaws with the current structure of the Department of Transportation that must be addressed before momentum for those needed projects can be established. Until the bureaucracy is reformed, simply throwing money at DOT will not result in the resolution of our infrastructure needs.

South Carolina remains a donor state in the amount of federal motor fuel taxes it sends to Washington, DC. The Party supports enabling legislation at the federal level to end the inequitable treatment of South Carolina and other donor states in the distribution of federal motor fuel tax revenues. The State’s current donor status means that it gets back some $920 million less than it collects over a 20-year period.

We support the continued use of privatization for transportation related projects. Private enterprise should also be encouraged to put its expertise and experience to work towards solving age- old transportation financial problems with new and innovative solutions. The Party also supports the end to the diversion of State Motor Fuel Taxes to non-highway purposes.

The South Carolina Republican Party supports SCDOT efforts to:

  • Use federal funds with greater flexibility and leverage
  • Provide efficient and coordinated alternative forms of transportation for people and goods
  • Develop creative funding strategies
  • Involve the general public and the private sector in transportation planning
  • Encourage coordination between land use and transportation planning
  • Strive for a transportation system sensitive to human needs and the environment
  • Coordinate the intermodal system with other infrastructure needs to support economic development
  • Enhance the safety of all transportation modes
  • Strengthen coordination among all planners and providers of transportation services
  • Eliminate the obligation ceiling on federal transportation funding

With regards to highway safety and automobile insurance, the Party recognizes driving is a privilege not a right. We support:

  • Continuing to shift the cost from good drivers to bad drivers by removing all recoupment charges for those safe drivers
  • Continuing the crackdown on uninsured motorists and habitual DUI offenders
  • Recognizing insurance fraud as a major contributor to increased rates and basic insurance premiums
  • Improving highway safety by requiring behind-the-wheel driver’s education for all drivers under the age of 21 and classroom driver’s education for drivers with violations
  • Increasing the limits of liability to meet the needs of the insured
  • Utilizing county prisoners to maintain those highways not otherwise maintained
  • Tort reform as the basis for real automobile insurance reform
  • Recommending a working cooperation between the Department of Insurance and the Department of Public Safety
  • Call on the governor to enforce the statutes concerning uninsured motorists, which chronically drive up the cost of automobile insurance.