Bumper stickers, window decals and other vehicle ornaments have long been used by people to add a little personality to their cars, trucks and motorhomes — and why not? If you spend a significant chunk of your time running errands, commuting or traveling the country, it seems pretty harmless to express your beliefs, personality or humor through something so harmless.
So what’s the problem? Well, in South Carolina, the wrong ornamentation on your vehicle can actually earn you a hefty ticket.
Anything considered “obscene” is against the law to display
According to the state statute, you can be ticketed and fined for attaching “any sticker, decal, emblem, or other device containing obscene or indecent words, photographs, or depictions” to your vehicle where others can see it.
What’s defined as obscene or indecent? Essentially, it applies to anything that depicts:
- Sexual acts
- Excretory functions
- Body parts
However, the law also references anything that is “patently offensive” according to community standards or lacking in “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” In other words, there’s a lot of room for interpretation in the law.
One common window decal you may have seen, the “urinating Calvin” (from the cartoon strip “Calvin and Hobbes”), would definitely cross the line — and one South Carolina woman faced a $455 fine for hanging an obscene item from the rear of her truck.
Get help when you’re facing a traffic ticket
Whether you’ve lived in South Carolina all your life or you’re just passing through on vacation, it can be a shock to get a traffic ticket for something that’s meant to be humorous — especially when it has nothing to do with the quality of your driving.
Fight back against unreasonable fines and points on your license. Call an experienced traffic defense attorney to discuss your case.