Updates to Distracted Driving Laws Could Lead to Cell Phone Ban

San Antonio Lawmaker Seeks to Ban Cell Phones in Distracted Driving Law

distracted driving lawA lawmaker in San Antonio has proposed updates to local distracted driving laws that would mean drivers cannot not use cell phones at all while in their vehicles.

Mike Gallagher, from District 10, proposed a revision to San Antonio’s local distracted driving law, which was passed in 2010. The ban currently prohibits use of any handheld mobile devices while driving, except for dialing phone numbers and talking on the phone. Gallagher’s latest proposal would ban even talking on a cell phone, because it can cause distractions while on the road.

“The main thing has to do with hand-held devices. In other words, if you’re driving down the road, if you can talk to somebody without using hand-held devices you’re fine, but it’s those people that are holding something in their hands,” said Gallagher.

“While the city took a step in the right direction with the distracted driving ordinance, I believe there is more we can do to improve public safety and reduce the distracted driving hazard,” Gallagher said.  “That is why I have requested that city staff examine the current ordinance related to the ban on the use of hand held mobile communication devices and add a provision stating that they may only be used in a ‘hands free capacity, unless in an emergency situation.”

“Remember, driving is not a right, it is a privilege,” Gallagher said.  “We owe it to other drivers on the road and ourselves to operate a vehicle in the safest manner.”

Texting and driving, if not other forms of distracted driving, has surfaced as one of the leading causes of death among teenagers and young adults, higher even than drunk driving. The distracted driving practice also has as high a mortality rate for the general population as drunk driving, according to studies. South Carolina recently passed texting and driving legislation, making it the last Southern state to do so. However, the state allows drivers to talk on their cell phones, use GPS, and change radio stations, which are all activities that can cause distracted driving accidents.

Distracted Driving in South Carolina

Distracted driving includes:

  • texting and driving
  • talking on or playing with a cell phone
  • eating or 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

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 a South Carolina distracted driving accident can result in life altering and even deadly consequences.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina distracted driving 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.

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