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South Carolina could allow citation for texting and driving

Pending legislation in South Carolina could finally lead to the state adopting provisions against texting while driving. Currently, drivers are not subject to traffic citations if they are found texting behind the wheel. The new bill would include fines of up to $300 for drivers who are found texting behind the wheel. Two points could also be assessed against a driver's license after a texting traffic citation. Violators would be able to remove the fine if they submit to a distracted-driving course.

Representatives in state government say they find that many residents do not even realize that texting behind the wheel is not yet illegal. In fact, South Carolina is the only state in the region that has not adopted a texting ban. Only a few remaining states -- such as Arizona and Texas -- still permit texting and driving for most vehicle operators.

This is not the first time that anti-texting bills have been proposed. Statewide efforts have been attempted and shot down in the legislature. Individual cities, however, have passed bills banning the practice, which can lead to confusion. Drivers can conceivably violate texting laws by simply driving across the street. A comprehensive state law would help everyone, according to regional lawmakers.

The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it is likely headed for formal approval. Drivers who are concerned about their citations for distracted driving and other violations may benefit from the assistance of a South Carolina attorney, who may help them understand their rights.

Source:  The State, "Texting ban sent to Senate for debate" Andrew Shain, Feb. 26, 2014

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