My Take: Using a cellphone while driving should be illegal in SC

Updated: Nov. 1, 2019 at 11:00 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A week ago, a Kershaw County Sheriff’s deputy was struck by a vehicle while she was on crossing guard duty at an elementary school.

Investigators say it happened because the driver was distracted. Thankfully, Deputy Chelsea Cockrell was released from a hospital that same day and is expected to be okay. But it was a scary situation that could have ended much differently.

Now, Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan is joining others in pushing lawmakers to pass the “South Carolina Hands Free Act.” Currently, texting and driving is illegal in the state. But the fine is just 25 bucks and that’s if you admit to doing it during a traffic stop or after an accident. It’s a small price to pay for possibly endangering the lives of others.

The new legislation would make it illegal to operate devices such as cellphones at all while driving as well as increase the penalties associated with doing so. The bill currently resides in the Senate.

The WIS editorial board wholeheartedly agrees with the proposal. Similar proposals have passed in other states, most notably Georgia where highway fatalities fell 7% in the first nine months after their law went into effect.

While the legislation may anger some, there is nothing so important that you can’t just pull over to the side of the road and communicate. Our first priority needs to be the road, not our phones.

That’s My Take, What’s Yours?

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