Bill Banning South Carolina Drivers From Holding Cellphones Advances

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A bill that would ban drivers in South Carolina from holding cellphones in their hands has passed its first hurdle.

A House subcommittee approved the bill Wednesday, sending it on to the House Education and Public Works Committee.

The proposal would fine drivers $200 for using a cellphone or other electronic device in their hands. Drivers could talk on the phone with a hands-free device or use the GPS app on their phone or other electronic device as long as they entered their destination before driving.

Bill sponsor Republican Rep. Bill Taylor of Aiken said South Carolina’s current ban on texting while driving is too weak because drivers can claim they weren’t texting even when the cellphone is in their hands.

The current law has a $25 fine.