State texting and driving bill calls for higher fines, points on licenses

Updated: Dec. 19, 2017 at 5:19 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC/WIS) - Drivers who text behind the wheel could face stiffer penalties if a new bill proposed at the Statehouse becomes law.

Current fines for texting and driving are $25 for the first offense and $50 for each offense after that. But the new bill would quadruple the first offense fine to $100, then increase each subsequent offense to $300 plus two points on your driver's license.

In 2017, five people have died on state roads in crashes that list texting while driving as a contributing factor, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Drivers are weighing in and most are supporting the idea, although some believe even higher fines won't be enough.

"I think it's a good idea," commuter Charlie Hilliard said. "Maybe it will stop some of these people from texting and driving."

"Fining, suspensions, it's not going to alleviate the problem," commuter Tony Oliva said. "It's just an existing problem and it's sad."

State Rep. Bill Taylor, from Aiken County, filed the bill in the House. He says it will likely be debated within the first few weeks of January.

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