For Greenville, South Carolina, April Fool's Day isn't all fun and games. This is because April 1 st is the day that a significant distracted driving ordinance takes effect. Under the ordinance – which you can read here – motorists will be prohibited from using hand held devices while driving anywhere in city limits.
The ban, which was widely supported by lawmakers, residents, and safety advocates throughout the region, had originally focused on texting while driving. Although texting while driving is certainly a concern – as it causes thousands of preventable auto accidents, injuries, and fatalities each year – many in Greenville pushed to expand the law to fully address the dangers of distracted driving, and how best to prevent it. A local task force and Mayor Pro Tem David Sudduth recommended a more comprehensive ban earlier this year after stating that a texting ban was simply not enough.
Ban on Hand Held Devices
Greenville's distracted driving ban goes above and beyond laws in other states, many of which ban only the act of text messaging while driving. The law that takes effect today will prohibit motorists of all ages from using any hand held device while behind the wheel. This includes entering text or dialing numbers on cellphones, using GPS devices that are not voice activated, mp3 players, and other hand held electronics. Motorists will also be prohibited from using hand held devices at red lights.
Drivers will be allowed to use hands-free and voice-activated devices, which is why many wireless providers and stores in Greenville have been reporting a surge in sales of hands-free accessories. Law enforcement officers and emergency response workers will be exempt from the law, as long as they are using hand held devices as part of official duties. Drivers who violate the ban can be ticketed and fined.
Improving Roadway Safety
The hand held ban is a significant step toward making public roadways safer. Throughout the years, numerous states and jurisdictions have passed distracted driving laws. Unfortunately, South Carolina lawmakers have been sluggish to pass similar legislation. A statewide texting ban was blocked in the state House earlier this month.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we support Greenville's new ban and are hopeful that it will reduce the number of preventable accidents that can so often devastate families. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers also extend our support to victims and families who have suffered damages at the hands of distracted drivers anywhere throughout the state.
If you would like to learn more about your rights after a distracted driving accident, call 888-612-7001 for a FREE case review.