Texting while driving could be considered reckless under SC law

Published: Apr. 3, 2014 at 10:30 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM EDT
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Berkeley County State Representative Samuel Rivers Jr. wants to change the current reckless driving law to include texting.

If House Bill 3921 is passed, driving and texting could get you a big fine and possibly a suspended license.

The only exception is that it would allow drivers to text while stopped at a red light.

"We repair within excess of 300 cars here a month," said John Latsko, general manager of Fender Mender in West Ashley.

Latsko says accidents caused by people typing away behind the wheel are the main source of their business.

"Moms and dads usually are very honest and they let us know that their children or loved ones or somebody was texting when they had that accident," said Latsko.

Latsko supports a statewide law that could cause a little less business.

"I absolutely do, yes. We're going to stay busy regardless of the circumstances," said Latsko.

All kinds of wireless devices are included in the bill including cell phones, tablets and even laptops.

GPS devices and systems that are built into your vehicle would still be okay to use while driving.

Cheryl Brown said, "Since October, I've put over 15,000 miles on this car."

Brown keeps a close watch on what other drivers are doing.

"When you're behind somebody, you can see them looking down and for a long period of time they're not looking where they are going," said Brown.

Brown says it's distracting and scary.

"No texting, not at a stop light, not anytime. It's just not safe."

If the proposed law is passed, Latsko says technology will still be a distraction for drivers.

"It's going to take law enforcement to really set precedence in the area," said Latsko.

Under this bill, police would be able to request your data records if you're charged with reckless driving.

The first offense is a ticket that can range from $100 to $350.

The second offense is a suspended driver's license for three months and a ticket of no more than $500.

Representative Rivers says he hopes the bill will make it out of the House and into the Senate by May 1st. Otherwise it would be put off for a later time.

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