Representative aims to crack down on distracted driving through - FOX Carolina 21

Representative aims to crack down on distracted driving through proposed bill

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

"It's pretty simple- put the telephone down and drive," Representative Bill Taylor said. 

It may be simple but how many of you out there actually follow it? 

Lance Collins over at Auto Safe Driving in Greenville said he's teaching his students not just how to drive, but how to drive defensively.

"Experts say that when your eyes are off the road, like texting, they're off the road for four times longer, so about 400% more," Collins explained. 

Cellphones, always within arms' reach, is one of the main reasons experts say South Carolina is the one of deadliest places to drive, and that's not the only problem.

"Not only is it distracted driving hurting and killing people, it's also costing everyone and their pocketbook, because everybody is paying higher insurance rate," said Collins.

Representative Bill Taylor of Aiken said 15 states have already implemented hands-free driving laws. He hopes South Carolina is next, if not for safety, for the economics.

"I discovered that our insurance rates for auto are skyrocketing in South Carolina," said Taylor. 

The proposed hands free bill would ensure if a driver is touching, using, texting or calling on their phone, they will be fined $100 for the fist offense. The representative said if they don't learn their lesson and receive a second offense, they're looking at a fee of $300. 

It's called a DUI-E- "Driving under the influence of an electronic device." 

"We have a no texting bill now, it has a $25 fine, it's obviously not doing much," Rep. Taylor said. "Just look at people on the highway on the streets, and we can see everybody. I think a $100 fine is a pretty reasonable starting point."

The bill will move onto the House within the next two weeks. 

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