Just two months into 2013 and 91 people have died in vehicle collisions in the state, some of which have been attributed to distracted driving.
For the past few years South Carolina state senators have been debating a statewide ban on texting while driving, but so far nothing has come of it. One measure currently being debated would make texting behind the wheel a misdemeanor punishable by as much as a $10,000 fine. But this measure seems unlikely to garner much support.
The state does have a law which holds a driver accountable for being distracted if the resulting crash causes a fatality, but it doesn’t empower police to make traffic stops and it doesn’t allow them to write citations for people they catch in the act of texting while driving. Drivers are only punished if they actually cause a death while in the act of texting, or being distracted by anything which might cause them to lose control of their vehicle which results in a vehicle collision and death.
Among the issues currently being debated in South Carolina are those who say the law doesn’t go far enough; it should include bans on cell phone use by drivers, assess more points on the drivers licenses of those convicted; fines, fees and even jail time.
Senators in favor of some sort of distracted driving law feel confident some sort of new law will eventually be passed, but whether this is before or after the next session begins is anyone’s guess.