Traffic Tip Tuesday! Is Texting While Driving Reckless Driving in South Carolina?
In today’s traffic tip, I ask you to consider whether texting and driving is reckless under the law.
South Carolina Law says that “Any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” South Carolina Code Section 56-5-2920. The reason I’m bring up reckless driving is to advocate for an alternative to prosecuting texting while driving.
Although multiple bills are pending in the South Carolina Legislature, it looks like all will either die in committee or impose only a limited fine for distracted driving. I believe a limited fine for distracted driving will be worthless for improving the safety of our community.
Perhaps we can use South Carolina’s reckless driving law to prosecute those who continue to put us all in harm’s way by texting while driving. Certainly we can agree that drinking while driving is at minimum reckless driving. In light of studies and research that indicate that distracted driving is at least as dangerous as impaired driving, how can we not say that it is not reckless driving? A distracted driver may be 6 times more likely to cause a crash and can double stopping distance. Certainly those statistics indicate a wilful or wanton disregard for other’s safety.
However, only our community can determine what is reckless or not. My question to you today is whether you believe that distracted driving is reckless or not. Please post your comments and answers.