South Carolina Bans Texting While Driving (Finally!)

Accident Attorneys in Columbia Applaud the New Law

ApplauseAs of June 2014, the Palmetto State proudly joins 48 others in banning texting while driving. The ban supersedes at least 19 contradictory city and county ordinances on texting while driving, finally achieving consistent standards for the entire state.

The new law reads as follows in pertinent part:

It is unlawful for a person to use a wireless electronic communication device to compose, send, or read a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways of this State.

This ban on texting while driving is necessary for South Carolina. The State Department of Public Safety reported that during a single two-year period, the combined number of distracted driving accidents in just one tri-county area was over 10,000. Of these, almost a third resulted in injury and 20 were fatal.

Is the Texting While Driving Ban Strict Enough?

Many opponents feel the law is not strict enough. The fine for texting while driving is $25, which is lower than many South Carolina cities’ previous local ordinances that are now superseded. Additionally, officers cannot stop a driver for the violation unless they have a “clear and unobstructed view” of that driver using a device to compose, send or read a text.

While the law is arguably not strict enough, proponents argue that the mere presence of the law will help people understand the dangers of texting while driving and alter their behavior accordingly. One CDC study showed that 31 percent of drivers aged 18-64 admitted to texting while driving within the last 30 days of the survey. By passing the ban, more people will realize that it is simply not worth it to text while drive. The message can wait!

As an example of how necessary this is, just two weeks before the bill was passed, a 21-year-old man was texting while driving down Poplar Tent Road in Davidson, when his vehicle drifted across the center line and smashed head-on into a car driven by an 18-year-old girl. Thankfully, neither person was injured, though both vehicles were totaled. This accident could have been a lot worse—this driver got very, very lucky.

Has A Reckless Driver Hurt You Or Your Family?

At Proffitt & Cox, LLP, we feel incredibly comforted knowing that South Carolina finally has a texting law on the books that will help keep our roads—and our people—safer. Our decisions behind the wheel concern not just ourselves, but everyone, and while the monetary fine under the new law may be minor, the consequences of causing an accident in this manner are long-reaching and life altering.

We understand how serious it is when a distracted driver injures you or a member of your family. If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident and suspect that the other driver may have been distracted, contact experienced injury lawyers in Columbia by calling (803) 834-7097 or toll free at (877) 276-0533 for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights.