Lawmakers must make state's roads safer

info@islandpacket.comMay 5, 2013 

Distracted drivers are causing negligent accidents on our busy South Carolina roads.

Specifically, statistics indicate that texting and hand-held cellphones are contributing to highway accidents. How often have you seen slow drivers in the left lane texting or talking on their hand-held cellphone? What happens when they are behind the wheel of a manual shift vehicle with no hands on the steering wheel when shifting and turning?

The Governors Highway Safety Association recently published information on state laws addressing distracted driving:

  • Ten states prohibit hand-held cellphones while driving. Not the state of South Carolina.

  • Thirty-nine states ban text messaging for all drivers, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Not the state of South Carolina.

  • Many organizations, such as AARP, are advocates on this important issue. An editorial in The (Charleston) Post and Courier, stated, "South Carolina's elected representatives should recognize their core responsibility to provide for public safety."

    A number of proposed bills on distracted driving have languished in the legislature. Their sponsors, like our ineffective, gridlocked House and Senate in Washington, have not been able to get the required support to pass legislation specifically addressing texting and using hand-held cellphones while driving.

    Highway safety is everyone's responsibility. Your loved ones and friends' lives' could be in the balance.

    Contact your legislators now to tell them your position.

    Earle Everett

    Hilton Head Island

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