COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -
South Carolina legislators are attempting to mimic a new Georgia law that makes it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving.
"Really began about trying to lower insurance rates for our auto policies. It really became later about saving lives on Georgia's roads."
John Carson is the driving force behind Georgia's new law. 'Hands-Free' is an effort to stop texting and driving. “To me, this is really the DUI issue of our generation,” said Carson.
Georgia House members studied the issue and reported data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It said 12 of 15 states with hands-free laws had fewer deaths 2 years after passing those laws averaging a 17.8% decrease.
He said Georgia has already seen fewer people killed since the word got out about the new law that took effect July 1st.
In Georgia, it's illegal to even hold a phone while driving. That means in your hand, on your shoulder, in your lap, or at a stoplight or stop sign. But in South Carolina, it's only illegal to text while driving.
"Distracted driving has gotten way out of hand. And I think it's a law that needs to be passed in each and every state. I'm sure they could come up with some kind of device that phones won't even work in the car,” Debbie Corbin of Traveling SC Roads said.
A bill filed in South Carolina that failed to become law would have made it illegal to hold a phone while driving, send a text, and visually read text from a wireless device.
“Maybe over time it might eventually help some,” said Roger Anderson of Traveling SC Roads. “You know we've always stopped at McDonald's and got a coffee and a burger and we're eating and driving down the road, so what's the difference in picking up a telephone I guess?”
The representative trying to pass a hands-free law in our state is Bill Taylor from Aiken. He says he will file another bill this December and keep pushing for a hands-free South Carolina.
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