State pushing for stronger phone laws

Through the holiday season and especially over the New Year's Eve holiday celebration time in South Carolina, much attention is given to alternatives to drinking and driving. The dangers associated with getting behind the wheel of a car even if a person has had only one alcoholic beverage have been known for a long time. Sadly many people keep making the dangerous choice to grab their keys after a drink or two. Similarly, too many people refuse to put down their phones while they drive.

It has been more than three years since South Carolina enacted a law which put a strict ban on texting while actively driving. In that time, close to 3,000 tickets have been handed out for texting while driving. It is not known how many other drivers have engaged in this behavior but simply have not been caught. In 2017 alone it is estimated that almost 1,500 distracted driving tickets have been written by law enforcement officers.

The current law may be a good step forward but the reality is that people are still being injured or killed in accidents caused by drivers paying attention to their phones instead of the road. This is why an effort is underway to strengthen the laws to make it illegal to even hold a phone while driving at all. If passed, the fine would increase four times for a first offense. A second offense would add points to a driver's license.

When South Carolina residents need help after being injured by a distracted driver, talking with an attorney may provide insight into how to seek compensation.

Source: WRDW.com, "South Carolina trying to crack down on distracted driving dangers," Lia Fernandez, December 15, 2017

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