Texting and Driving Ban Should Result In Fewer Accidents in South Carolina
On Monday, June 9th, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed the state’s texting and driving ban into law. The texting and driving ban went immediately into effect after Governor Haley signed it.
The ban covers writing or reading texts, emails, or social media sites while operating a vehicle. South Carolina is the 45th state to pass this legislation. Frankly, it’s about time as distracted driving and texting and driving cause more accidents than drinking and driving. Prior to the statewide ban, local municipalities took matters into their own hands. Greenville, Beaufort, and Charleston Counties all passed texting and driving legislation to protect their citizens. The number of local governments banning texting and driving spurred the successful statewide ban. “At least we have an overall texting bill that makes the entire state exactly the same. The way it was, nobody knew what the texting law was when they drove from one county to the next,” said Rep. Don Bowen, R-Anderson, who’s fought for a statewide ban since 2010. “In a state not well-known for regulating behind-the-wheel behavior, legislators are saying, ‘Your decisions behind the wheel have consequences for everyone because you endanger everyone else as well as yourself,'” said Tom Crosby, spokesman for AAA Carolinas. “It’s a great start.” A “training period” of 180 days will go into effect once the texting and driving ban is signed into law, during which time police will issue warnings rather than tickets.
The ban supersedes local ordinances, passed in 19 townships and cities across South Carolina, that regulate texting and driving differently from the statewide ban, including higher fines or points deducted from drivers’ licenses. Under the compromise texting and driving legislation, drivers who violate the law will not receive any penalty points on their licenses, but will face fines starting at $25, with the maximum penalty at $50. The use of GPS for navigation and texting emergency services in the event of an accident are permitted, according to the new law. Police officers would also be prohibited from confiscating or viewing drivers’ cellphones when they pulled someone over for texting and driving. “This texting and driving ban will save more lives than any other action by state government in years,” said Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden. Texting and driving studies in recent years have shown that texting and driving is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
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 driving while 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.