Newly proposed Hands-Free Act looks to thwart distracted driving in South Carolina

South Carolina News

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – One in every four vehicle accidents is caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

The Hands-Free Act, if passed, could put harsher penalties on those who use their phones while on the road. Click here to view a copy of the proposed bill.

The Horry County Police Department spokesperson tells News13 they combat distracted driving by sending officers to monitor congested areas like the intersection of Highways 544 and 17.

“When you are using any sort of device while you’re driving, you can encounter all three of those distractions at once. You want to do your best to avoid any of them,” said Horry County Police Dept. spokesperson Mikayla Moskov.

You encounter three types of distractions if you use your phone while driving: visual, cognitive and manual. But, lawmakers and law enforcement are working to limit distracted driving that causes more than 390,000 injuries each year.

The Hands-Free Act, introduced in the South Carolina Senate in March, would increase the fine for distracted driving from $25 to $100 for the first offense, and to $400 for a second offense.

Two points would also come off of your license. The Horry County Police Department helps combat texting and driving with checkpoints.

“Our traffic enforcement team, which is essentially our community outreach team, goes out in larger numbers and they will sit in an area that is having difficulties and look for any of those violations, any of those dangerous behaviors, and try to handle them however they can,” said Moskov.

The Hands-Free Act would also deem you as a distracted driver even if you are reaching for your phone in the car.

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