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South Carolina bans Carolina squat trucks. Here's when the new law takes effect

The 'Carolina Squat,' a popular truck modification where the front of a truck is raised higher than the rear, will soon be illegal in South Carolina.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The 'Carolina Squat', a popular truck modification will soon be banned in South Carolina under a bill that Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the general assembly voted overwhelmingly to ban this style of truck. It comes two years after a pedestrian in Myrtle Beach was killed after being struck by one. 

Many people say they know one when they see one. The vehicles have their front end raised higher than the back. 

“They look like they’re towing an invisible trailer," said Owner of Hound Dog 4x4 Automotive repair shop Joey Lemmon.

Law enforcement agencies have been in favor of banning the squat because it makes it difficult for drivers to see what's ahead of them. 

“I think it’s contributed to some of the wrecks we’ve had. Again, when you look at it and you see how the driver is looking up in the air, they can’t see anything low down," said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. 

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. 

“It’s an education thing. I think once everyone hears they're illegal i’m hoping they’ll just fix it themselves," said Lott. 

Lemmon said his team doesn't perform the modification for customers.

“We’ve probably fixed over a dozen trucks between transmission issues, headlight issues and getting them back level or lowering the front back down back to where its even with the front end of the truck," said Lemmon. 

He adds because of the steep angle, the insides of the car wear down a lot faster, resulting in costly repairs.  

“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 Lemmon.

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. 

The law takes effect in 180 days. 

North Carolina and Virginia have enacted similar bans. 

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