texting while driving

The fate of a South Carolina Senate bill on distracted driving remains in question, according to news reports. Senate Bill 186, filed in January by Sen. Luke Rankin, a Republican from Myrtle Beach, calls for fatal accidents to be treated as felonies if they were caused by distracted driving.

The bill recommends that motorists be charged with reckless vehicular homicide when cellphones are determined to be a factor within three years of an accident date. Rankin has been vocal about the dangers of distracted driving. He feels it’s an increasing problem in South Carolina.

Rankin’s bill went to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it still remains. It appears unlikely that this bill will pass in the current legislative session. This is because May 1 was the deadline for any legislation passed in one chamber to be sent to another.

However, it’s possible that the General Assembly may address Rankin’s bill when it reconvenes in January 2014.

Movement for Distracted Driving Laws in South Carolina

Other attempts to ban texting and cellphone use behind the wheel in South Carolina are ongoing. State Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell, a Lancaster Democrat, co-sponsored a bill to add texting while driving to South Carolina’s distracted driving law.

Norrell’s proposal is not expected to reach the full House until 2014. However, that is not stopping Norrell, who says the legislation is important. The last texting-and-driving bill was unsuccessful because lawmakers believed it would be too difficult for officers to determine whether a driver had been texting.

South Carolina is one of a handful of states without a law addressing cellphone use by drivers. However, some towns have been banned texting and other types of electronic distractions illegal while driving. Hilton Head may become the seventh municipality to pass an ordinance that bans texting within the town’s limits.

Need Legal Help?

Car accidents can happen in a split second. Even the most experienced drivers may be involved in serious crashes due to electronic distractions. If you or a loved one has been injured in a South Carolina automobile accident because of somebody else’s negligence, contact our South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm.

Whether you need guidance on accidents involving reckless driving or distracted drivers or some other type of car accident, call (888) 324-3100 or use our online form so our attorneys can offer you advice about your rights.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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