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To squat or unsquat. Time’s up for banned SC vehicles. Will owners choose to risk purposes?

The red Silverado 4×4 that Noah Flowers drives was already squatted when he bought it, but that fact didn’t stop him from getting a warning ticket in early April.

The 18-year-old Conway man was pulled over by Horry County Police early last month and issued a warning ticket for his truck.

Flowers’ truck, typically known as a Carolina squat truck, has been banned in South Carolina. And while police have only been writing warning tickets now, come May 10, drivers of the trucks will face heftier purposes and remove possibly revocation of their driver’s license.

But it doesn’t appear that there has been a rush for squat truck owners to have their vehicles unsquatted.

Flowers said he may unsquat his truck some, but he doesn’t intend to modify it too much. As of May 1, his truck was still the same.

The Carolina squat is a trendy alteration usually found on a pickup or SUV that lifts the front of the vehicle and lowers the rear.

“It kind of sucks,” Flowers said of his ticket. “Not everyone drives (like) dumb*****.”

Tonya Gatquard with T&R Truck and Auto Repair in Myrtle Beach said the shop has received a few phone calls, but no one has come in to have their truck modified to make it legal.

“I’m surprised,” Gatquard said. “They’re so dangerous.”

Usually those who squat their trucks do it themselves, according to Tammy Cassidy of C&G Auto and Truck in Myrtle Beach.

“Those people who have those trucks are thinking they are going to be under the radar,” Cassidy said. “(We) won’t see any until they are passing out tickets.”

Beginning May 10, drivers can receive tickets for violations under the new law. First offense is a $100 fine; second offense is $200 and a third offense is a $300 fine and a license suspension by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles for 12 months from the date of the conviction.

The tickets are for unlawfully elevating or lowering a motor vehicle by more than 6 inches by a modification or change in physical structure, with the exception of pickup trucks. However, the height of the front fender of a pickup truck cannot be raised or lowered 4 or more inches greater than the height of the rear fender.

South Carolina joined Virginia and North Carolina in banning the popular squat trucks.

Although the law went into effect July 1, the General Assembly included language that the law wouldn’t actually take effect until 180 days after approval by the governor. Following that 180 days, which was in November, only warning tickets will be issued to violators of the law.

It is unclear how many warning tickets have been written since November. Myrtle Beach Police said their warning tickets “do not track” if a vehicle is a squatted truck and were unable to provide the number of tickets. A Freedom of Information Act request to Horry County Police for the number of warning tickets issued was not completed by time of publication.

Ocean Boulevard in the Myrtle Beach area could look different this summer, as Myrtle Beach has long been a haven for squat trucks, which can be seen traveling down the city’s busy main drag.

Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock played a key role in outlawing the trucks, testifying multiple times during state committee hearings. One incident used to encourage the ban was the death of a pedestrian, who was struck and killed by a Carolina squat truck in the city during the summer of 2021.

If people do choose to get their vehicles unsquatted, Scott Fedan, owner of Scott’s Garage in Loris, said they will most likely do it in their own yards.

But the most likely option, he said, is “They’ll just get the ticket.”