In 2016, 3450 people were killed due to distracted driving. Keeping in mind this high rate of fatalities because of a reason that is completely preventable, the state of South Carolina is making efforts to introduce several bills that would make people safer on the road.
South Carolina is playing a lead role in the effort to place a hands-free law in the State. State Representative Bill Taylor recently introduced the Driving Under the Influence bill at the Statehouse. As per this bill, it will become illegal for drivers in South Carolina to hold a phone, call, text, email or watch a video while driving. Drivers will also be forbidden to reach the phone in an unsafe manner while they are driving. The only way drivers will be allowed to use their phone would be with a headset or other hands-free means. These restrictions will not apply during an emergency situation, while calling 911 or while using the GPS.
The primary reason why this bill is being introduced is because of the high fatality rate. There is a general perception that drunk driving is the major killer of innocent people on the road, but if you look at the statistics, distracted drivers are even worse than drunk drivers. Drunk drivers at least hold on to the wheel and look at the road, but distracted drivers are basically blind because they don’t even have their eyes on the road while they fiddle around with their phone.
This same bill was filed in 2017 as well but did not pass. Representative Taylor is making the same attempt in 2019. Only time will tell whether it goes through and if it does, whether the penalties are tough enough for drivers to even take these regulations seriously. However, the fact still remains that both drunk drivers and distracted drivers continue to create havoc on our roads and there is a definite need to take measures to control this type of irresponsible behavior on the road.
The DUI-E bill if passed would charge a $25 fine to all violators. This might be the only loophole in this bill as the penalty amount is too low for drivers to take it seriously. However, Representative Taylor already has a plan in place for this. According to him, if the bill passes through, he will work towards making amendments to the penalties so that the fines could be enhanced. In his original proposal, there was a $100 penalty on the first offense and a $300 penalty on subsequent offenses. This seems more logical if the goal is to discourage distracted driving. The point of the entire effort is to crack down on distracted driving.
Contact a Clemson DUI Lawyer at the Bateman Firm
If this bill is introduced in 2019, then driving under the influence will also include distracted driving. If you or anyone you know would like more information about the existing laws in Clemson, SC about drunk driving and distracted driving, please call our Clemson DUI lawyer for more information. A Clemson DUI lawyer will have the necessary skill and expertise to help you if you were injured because of a drunk driver or a driver who was under any other influence (whether it was drugs or electronic device). We understand that generally speaking, people do not have the exact knowledge about penalties and consequences of drunk driving and/or distracted driving. We are here to help you understand the law. If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI, you need to get legal representation as soon as possible. Call us today at 864-881-7070, and a Clemson DUI lawyer will be happy to assist you.
Anyone can make a mistake, but when you drive drunk or distracted, you put the lives of other people at stake. As the State of South Carolina becomes more vigilant and as new laws and regulations are being designed to increase the safety on our roads, it is in the interest of all registered and licensed drivers in Clemson, SC to understand the system and to abide by the law. However, if you have made an error in judgment and if you were arrested, we can help you during this difficult time. Call our Clemson DUI lawyer today and tell them the circumstances of your case. Our lawyers will offer you the best legal representation in Clemson, SC.