Distracted Driving Bill Moving Through South Carolina House
COLUMBIA, SC. – A distracted driving bill is moving through the South Carolina State House, according to an online news story published at live5news.com. The bill was pre-filed in the state legislature and recently passed a subcommittee in the House General Assembly.*
Rep. Bill Taylor (R-Aiken) sponsored the bill, which is similar to the Hands-Free Georgia Act that went into effect in the state of Georgia in July 2018. The South Carolina law would ban driving under the influence of an electronic device, an offense called a DUI-E. Drivers would not be able to hold their cell phones or other devices while driving.
On January 29, the bill moved one step closer to becoming law, when it passed the South Carolina House Education and Public Works Subcommittee. The hearing that day featured three hours of testimony about current law and the dangers of distracted driving.
Currently, South Carolina has a ban on texting and driving, but it is a secondary offense. This means a person must be stopped for another reason before officers can add on a texting and driving citation. The citation currently results in a $25 fine.
"Our texting law that was enacted in 2014 is a joke,” Taylor said. “Here’s the deal: You have to be stopped by a police officer as a secondary issue. Otherwise, they have to see you speeding or headlight out or something like that, and then if they say to you, ‘Were you texting?’ and you say, ‘No,’ there’s nothing they can do. We write very few texting violations in this state — on average, about 1,300 a year by the state police, 1,300 a year. Most of us see 1,300 violations of that in a week’s time or two weeks’ time as we drive down the roads.”
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