Momentum Building for Tougher Distracted Driving Laws

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Distracted driving is a growing concern for drivers in and around Greenville. With a growing population and the rise of mobile technology, car accidents caused by distracted drivers have increased. These incidents can lead to serious injuries for victims. 

How common are distracted driving accidents?

Car accidents are not uncommon. During the latest reporting year in South Carolina, the Department of Public Safety said that there were 141,599 traffic crashes across the state. Out of those, there were:

  • 989 total fatalities
  • 60,566 total injuries

The SCDPS also reported that says that distracted driving contributed to over 10,000 total crashes in the state during that same year. 

What is being done about distracted driving?

Lawmakers at the State House are hearing arguments for and against the “South Carolina Hands-Free Act,” which would make it illegal to use a phone while driving. Texting and driving is already illegal in SC. However, police officers say that the $25 fine for violations is not enough to be a deterrent. They also say the law is nearly unenforceable. When officers pull a car over, drivers can claim that they were using their phone’s navigation system or to make a call. Both of those actions are currently legal. 

The new bill would outlaw the use of a phone for nearly any reason, even while stopped at red lights or stop signs. Drivers would face a fine of $100 for violating the law and $300 fines for each repeat offense. Drivers would also lose two points on their license for each offense. 

Provisions of this bill have died on the House floor in the past. There have been concerns about the bill’s harsh penalties. Other lawmakers want there to be exceptions for drivers using their phones to navigate. 

Contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured due to the actions of a distracted driver, you can contact the Greenville car accident attorneys at the Dan Pruitt Law Firm for a free consultation today to find out what your next steps should be.

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