Carolina squats aren’t illegal yet. But has a crackdown in Myrtle Beach already begun?
The controversial low-riding pickups dubbed Carolina squats are commonly seen around Myrtle Beach. But are police trying to get rid of them while they’re still legal?
According to drivers of the maligned, asphalt-scraping pickups, yes.
Lawmakers are currently trying to outlaw the squats, but it hasn’t happened just yet.
Millions of views poured into TikTok clips posted over the weekend of city police officers arresting and citing people driving the low riders, though it’s not clear how many
Brett Michaels, a popular online personality known for making viral videos within the Carolina squat community, drew 1.8 million views from a five-second clip showing a driver lowering his vehicle after a police officer approached his window.
Other clips showed the tricked out trucks being towed down Ocean Boulevard.
Several local towing companies contacted by The Sun News on Monday declined to say if they had more service calls over the weekend, and spokespeople for the Myrtle Beach and Horry County police departments didn’t immediately respond to inquiries about law enforcement activity over the weekend, and whether Carolina squats were being targeted.
Driving them on South Carolina roads isn’t illegal yet, but time is likely running out for squats — a matter of such importance to Myrtle Beach that city leaders late last year included a potential ban among its top legislative priorities.
Last month, the SC Senate unanimously approved a measure restricting a vehicle’s back-to-front height difference to four inches — with fines of between $100 and $300 for violators.
Chronic offenders could even have their license revoked. The bill is waiting for action by the state House Education and Public Works Committee but is expected to sail through and land on Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk by this summer.
Included in the bill, which officials expect will roll through the SC House, is a suggestion to let the law take affect 180 days after it’s signed — down from the 12 months as suggested in its initial form.
This weekend’s TikTok blitz coincided with the Run to the Sun car show, an annual fundraiser that draws up to 3,000 participants.
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Organizer Michael Leaventon said Carolina squats aren’t part of the event.
“Our show is (vehicles from) 1989 and prior. That’s not to say that some of those folks don’t come as spectators, but they’re not eligible to be included,” he said.