Columbia City Council considering ban on texting while driving

By Jack Kuenzie - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Columbia city leaders have started to consider the possibility of cracking down on people who text while driving, but council members meeting said Thursday afternoon the proposal still needs a lot of thought.

Texting while walking, is generally safe to do, but texting while driving is another matter. Even those who do it admit the practice can be dangerous.

"I'm guilty of it," said USC sophomore Marshall Beaty. "It's not a good idea at all. I believe there should be some limitations as if it were your first offense. Maybe the penalty's not as great. Maybe a warning."

On Thursday, the Columbia City Council's Public Safety Committee did begin exploring the possibility of placing a citywide ban on distracted driving, specifically targeting drivers who text and email.

"I was almost ran off the interstate, for example, by a woman that was entering on the acceleration lane," said Columbia City Councilman Sam Davis. "She was texting. I mean, it does happen."

Council members have a draft proposal to consider. They also have many questions about how it would work.

"I would agree with it," said USC freshman Katie Caraway. "I mean there are certain circumstances that come up, but you can always call the person so, it would be a lot easier to do that than risk somebody's life."

The draft ordinance for Columbia is under review by Police Chief Randy Scott. It will be discussed in the council's next executive session.
Clemson and Camden have already put their own ordinances in place.

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