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Regulation of Private Roads

    Although many associations own and maintain their own private roads, certain South Carolina traffic regulations may still apply.  S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-6310 provides that the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways applies to private roads if the title holder to the roads files written consent subjecting them to the provisions of the Act.  This consent does not render the roads public, it only provides authorization for highway safety regulations to apply.

    Certain provisions of the Act specifically refer to vehicles driven only on highways.  Highway is defined as “[t]he entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part of it is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic.”  S.C. Code Ann. § 56-1-10(6) .  These particular statutes do not apply to private roads and include, among other things, provisions for a driver’s license and registration and insurance requirements.  

    On the other hand, the Attorney General’s Office has determined that certain traffic offenses may be prosecuted whether the roads are private or public.  These offenses include driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving.

    Another issue raised by the ownership of private roads concerns the enforcement authority vested in private security guards.  S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-110 grants a registered security guard with arrest authority equivalent to that of a deputy sheriff.  In following, a private security guard is authorized to issue a uniform traffic ticket on private property pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 56-7-10.  

    In sum, a private security guard in a neighborhood containing private roadways has the statutory power to issue traffic citations for violations of the South Carolina Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways. 

    This site and any information contained herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  Seek a competent attorney for advice on any legal matter.

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