SC legislators to discuss texting ban for drivers

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina could join a growing number of states that ban texting while driving under a bill legislators are considering.

The measure set for debate Wednesday in a House Education subcommittee would bar drivers from sending text messages or using a hand-held cell phone. Handsfree devices would be exempt.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 18 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed text messaging while driving. 11 of the states, including North Carolina and Tennessee, did so last year.

At least six states and District of Columbia prohibit drivers from chatting with a phone at their ear.

South Carolina's libertarian-leaning Republicans have long opposed bills on hand-held phone use.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.