Distracted Driving Bans Proposed in Two More Upstate Cities - WSPA.com

Distracted Driving Bans Proposed in Two More Upstate Cities

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Exactly one week after Greenville's distracted driving ban went into effect, Greer and Simpsonville will propose similar bans at city council meetings Tuesday night. Exactly one week after Greenville's distracted driving ban went into effect, Greer and Simpsonville will propose similar bans at city council meetings Tuesday night.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

Two more upstate cities are joining the growing list making moves to end texting behind the wheel.

Exactly one week after Greenville's distracted driving ban went into effect, Greer and Simpsonville will propose similar bans at city council meetings Tuesday night.

Greer driver Cole Brannon said knows he shouldn't text and drive.

“When you're texting and driving in your car, it's not only your life that's in your hands, but the other people around you driving," said Brannon.

But sometimes he does it anyway. He said getting pulled over and fined for it would be the push he needs to stop.

“When it comes out of your pocket, that's when you know it hurts. So I think people definitely will stop doing it,” said Brannon.

Greer city council member Judy Albert plans to introduce an ordinance Tuesday that would ban texting and emailing on a phone while driving down the road.

She said she got sick of waiting for Columbia to pass a statewide ban.

“I’m hoping that as these cities and counties come along with putting these no texting ordinances in, it may be the state will finally come along," said Albert.

Simpsonville city council will bring Greenville's more restrictive distracted driving ordinance to the table when discussing its own proposed ban Tuesday night.

Greenville's ordinance, which bans using any handheld device -- even while stopped at a red light -- goes above and beyond the texting ban being proposed in Greer and already in place in Clemson.

Greer driver Kelli Young said having different ordinances in different cities creates a confusing patchwork for drivers, but she still prefers that over a statewide ban.

“If you go to a new city or you're just driving through the state, you wouldn't know if you can use your phone or not. But I think it should be left up to certain cities because it's the people that live in the city -- it's up to them,” said Young.

For now, it looks as if the ship has sailed this session. A statewide texting and driving ban was blocked in the statehouse in March.

One key factor that's shared between these ordinances, including Greer's, is an exception allowing law enforcement, firefighters, EMS and other public safety personnel to use their devices for their official duties.

Fountain Inn and Oconee County are also considering distracted driving bans.

In the upstate, Greenville, Clemson, Greenwood and Walhalla already have bans.

Greenville police officers issued 71 warnings and two citations April 1-4. Officer Johnathan Bragg said a majority of those were for people talking on their cell phones while driving. Bragg estimates officers wrote hundreds more over the weekend, but they're still tallying the final numbers.

Related:
Greenville Police Issue 71 Warnings to Distracted Drivers
New Greenville Signs Alert Drivers to Ban
Fountain Inn Texting and Driving Ban Passes First Reading

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Jenna Troum
Jenna is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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