South Carolina lawmakers race to pass texting-and-driving bill

Legislature will adjourn soon, meaning proposed ban faces a race against time

The South Carolina Legislature is currently working on passing a texting-and-driving bill before lawmakers adjourn on June 5, according to The State. While there is widespread support that some sort of texting ban needs to be introduced in order to help avoid serious car accidents caused by distracted driving, senators and representatives are currently in disagreement about what form such a ban should take.

Partial or complete ban?

The State Senate is currently supporting a bill that would ban texting-and-driving only for people with a beginner's or restricted license. The House, meanwhile, wants a complete texting-and-driving ban that would apply to all drivers.

Other lawmakers have raised concerns about how a texting ban would be enforced, especially regarding concerns about racial profiling. South Carolina is one of the few states that have not passed a texting-and-driving law. Forty-three states currently ban all drivers from texting while driving. If a law is not passed by June 5, there is hope that the bill will not die outright. Lawmakers may be able to vote on the bill during an extended veto session on June 17.

Ban needed according to various groups

The need for a texting-and-driving law of some sort has been raised by a number of advocates. The South Carolina Highway Patrol recently warned drivers about the dangers of texting while driving, according to NBC News 2. So far this year there have been 450 crashes caused by distracted driving in Charleston County alone. According to the Highway Patrol, using a mobile device for texting can cause distracted driving that is similar to driving while impaired.

Around 20 cities, towns, and counties across South Carolina, including Columbia, have already passed their own bans against texting while driving. Advocates for a state bill, however, say that South Carolina needs a statewide ban in order to introduce clarity and consistency to the issue. Under the current system, a driver coming from one county that has no such ban to a county that does have a ban is likely to be confused as to what texting behaviors are permissible in a particular jurisdiction.

Distracted driving car accidents

While state lawmakers work on passing a texting-and-driving ban, many South Carolinians are already aware of how dangerous a distracted driver can be on the road. Every year, distracted driving leads to thousands of serious car accidents that cause numerous injuries and fatalities.

Anybody who has been injured by a distracted driver or because of the negligence of another party should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. Proving negligence is a difficult process and requires years of legal training and expertise. With qualified legal advice, victims of a distracted driver will have the help they need in pursuing any claims and compensation they may be entitled to.