Lawmakers getting closer to ban texting and driving in SC

Published: May. 30, 2014 at 3:40 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2014 at 3:40 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It started as a bill to stop novice drivers from using their cell phone while driving.

Now the latest version would ban texting for all drivers on the road. But the bill faces a bumpy road if it's ever going to get to the governor's desk.

There's some disagreement in the State House about how effective such a bill would be. The penalties are relatively low if you are caught. It would be just $50 for first time offenses. Questions of how the ban would be enforced by police haven't been met with a concrete plan but law enforcement would not be allowed to seize cell phones if they stop you for texting. Some lawmakers fear racial profiling is also likely.

"It's still America, and it still happens," said State Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Hartsville. "Basically we want to make sure in our state we put as many insurance provisions in as possible so we know who they're stopping, when and where and make sure they're not picking on any particular group."

Lawmakers from both the House and the Senate have been appointed to debate the final details of the bill. After that, the ban would require one vote in the House and Senate before it could pass.

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