Greenville leaders discuss strict cell phone while driving laws - FOX Carolina 21

Greenville leaders discuss strict cell phone while driving laws

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A text message is sent on an iPhone. (File/FOX Carolina) A text message is sent on an iPhone. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Greenville City Council leaders are now in serious talks about banning texting while driving and the ordinance there may be stricter than in other South Carolina towns.

Council members, their legal team and police met Monday afternoon at City Hall for the first step of crafting an ordinance that would put officers on the lookout for people on their phones as they drive.

They said since the state Legislature didn't pass any overarching laws last session, it's time they step up and make the changes locally.

From research into how other cities set up their laws, enforcement seems to be the concern, since seeing the texting is hard. Council members talked about stricter laws, like in some northeastern states, where all cell phone use is banned.

Councilman David Sudduth said if cell phone usage while driving was banned entirely, it "makes it much more easily enforced by the police department, and I think it actually makes it easier for the public to understand what's allowed and what's not allowed."

Other cities have one-time fines if drivers are caught. Sudduth said he would want increasing fines after each offense.

Before the ordinance is drawn up, the council will hold a public forum because they want the community's input.

Leaders said they'd like to have a ban in place by Jan. 1, 2014.

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