Lawmakers still studying statewide texting-while-driving ban - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Lawmakers still studying statewide texting-while-driving ban

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It's already been proposed and shot down in the State House numerous times, but some lawmakers say this is the year for a texting and driving ban to get on the books.

One bill under discussion aims to ban texting while driving in South Carolina with first-time offenders facing a $100 fine, 30 days in jail, and two points on their license.

The penalties nearly double for subsequent offenses. A companion proposal would make it illegal for a novice driver on a permit of restricted license to use any kind of electronic device while driving. Senators are optimistic the proposal could go a long way.

"A lot of municipalities have started to implement their own bans and prohibitions," said Sen. Shane Massey. "Those bans are different, so depending on where you're driving, you can have different laws on the same trip. That's not good for anybody. So I think there is more momentum now."

First-time offenders would have the option of taking a traffic class instead of paying the fine.

Both bills now head to the full Senate Judiciary Committee.

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