SC House and Senate pass texting ban - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SC House and Senate pass texting ban

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COLUMBIA, SC (WTOC) -

South Carolina may be closer to having its first statewide ban on texting while driving. Both the House and the Senate passed bills that would make it illegal to text while driving, but both bills are different.

The Senate's version only prohibits all drivers from using phones when in a school zone. The House's version makes it illegal for all drivers to text while on the road. Fines between both bills are different, as well. The Senate's bill fines offenders $75, and points could be added to their licenses. The fine in the House's bill is $25.

Neither of the bills ban talking on the phone while driving. State Senator, Vincent Sheheen said that right now, the the focus is on ending texting.

"What I believe we need to do is say, no texting while driving," he said. "And make sure that our young people, and all of our drivers across South Carolina, aren't texting, looking down while they're driving across the state roadways."

South Carolina is one of nine states that still does not have a statewide texting while driving ban. Many towns within the state, including all of Beaufort County, have their own ban.

If lawmakers pass a statewide ban, it will trump the others.

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