SC Senate Passes Texting and Driving Ban, House Votes on Separate Bill
South Carolina is one of the few states left in the US that does not have a statewide texting and driving ban. However, both the Senate and the House recently passed legislation to ban texting and driving across the Palmetto State.
“People back home are baffled why we don’t have a law banning texting and driving,” state Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Horry, said during the committee hearing.
On Wednesday, April 9th, the SC Senate passed a ban on texting and driving 38-2. The bill would levy fines against drivers starting at $75 – more lenient than several local bans passed across the state – and would penalize drivers with one point from their licenses. The legislation also bans texting and driving as well as other cell phone use from drivers with a learner’s permit or a restricted license.
Sen. Shane Massey (R-Edgefield), who sponsored the bill, defended the ban on texting and driving specifically.
“The bill is not perfect,” he said. “There are many forms of distracted driving. This is not addressing all of them. It is addressing one of the more prevalent forms of distracted driving. What we were really trying to do is trying to narrow the focus and make this as simple as possible.”
The state House of Representatives passed a different piece of texting and driving legislation 97-16. The texting and driving ban would fine drivers only $25 for the first offense and would not remove any points from the driver’s license.
Both texting and driving bills prohibit police from searching or confiscating cell phones.
“We wanted to make it matter,” said state Sen. Shane Massey, R-Edgefield. “(Texting) is “more akin to driving under the influence of alcohol than not wearing seat belts.”
“We need to pass a state law where everyone knows what the rules are,” said Senate Judiciary chairman Larry Martin, R-Pickens.
Distracted Driving, Including Texting and Driving, in South Carolina
Distracted driving includes:
- talking on a cell phone
- eating and drinking
- talking to passengers
- grooming or putting on makeup
- reading books, newspapers, or even a map
- using a PDA or navigation system
- watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
- playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod
- texting or writing emails
- checking social media
It’s a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina roads and interstates. Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of distracted driving can lead to an accident, resulting in life altering and even deadly consequences.
The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers, Including Texting and Driving
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.