South Carolina texting ban OK’d

South Carolina's long and winding road to a universal texting & driving ban has reached an end. The governor signed off June 9 on a ban that affects all drivers -- but it brings a mere $25 fine. (This report updated June 10 with governor's signature.) Architects of the final plan said they preferred "a carrot" to "a stick" and felt most motorists would comply. The plan cleared the legislature June 4. The House and Senate turned to a conference committee to resolve their differences over a texting law. The House sought a ban affecting all drivers, while the Senate only wanted to … [Read more...]

In S.C., a parade of local texting bans

Two more municipalities in South Carolina have outlawed texting while driving, citing the state's inability to pass distracted driving legislation. Mount Pleasant approved a local ban Sept. 10, a day after the Beauford County barred texting. The Beauford ban includes the use of all cell phones by drivers under the age of 18. Hilton Head, which is part of Beauford County, adopted a texting ban in early July. Charleston's City Council, meanwhile, is nearing approval of an ordinance banning texting while driving. A key vote on the issue was just postponed until Sept. 24, … [Read more...]

Chapel Hill: Total cell phone ban

The nation's first blanket ban on cell phone use while driving has been approved by Chapel Hill, N.C. Drivers will be barred from all cell phone conversations, including those conducted via hands-free and voice-activated accessories. The law takes effect June 1 and the fine is $25. The town provided "some real leadership" on the distracted driving issue, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board said in response. The Chapel Hill law isn't as groundbreaking as it may appear, however. The new law presents two significant loopholes for those who can't go without driving and … [Read more...]

Lower Chichester talks tough on texting

The blah blah blah over text messaging and driving gets pretty tiresome: How could any law possibly be enforced? What about my civil liberties? Yadda yadda. We've heard it all by now. Meet a lawmaker in Pennsylvania who is mad as hell about texting and is not going to take it anymore. The president of the township commission in Lower Chichester, Rocco Gaspari Jr., had this to say Monday after the body voted to ban text messaging for all drivers, effective immediately: “Text messaging now supersedes drugs and alcohol for causing the most accidents in the United States. Something needs to be … [Read more...]

Honolulu bans take effect July 1

The City of Honolulu's long debate over drivers' use of handheld electronic devices finally has reached an end. Mayor Mufi Hannemann signed Bill 4 into law on May 7. Prohibited devices include handheld cell phones, text messaging devices, PDAs, laptop computers and video game machines. In February, the Honolulu mayor vetoed an earlier plan to ban text messaging while driving after police complained they had no way of telling what a driver was doing while holding a cell phone. Honolulu's police have resisted all previous efforts to control drivers' use of wireless devices, citing … [Read more...]