Wednesday, November 22, 2017

S.C. Department of Public Safety cracking down on texting and driving over Thanksgiving

Special enforcement to run during Thanksgiving

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 12:18 PM

This holiday season, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) wants you to simply drive. Just drive. Those who choose to text while behind the wheel from Mon. Nov. 22 through Sun. Nov. 26 could be subject to the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the State Transport Police's "STOP Texting and Driving" enforcement initiative, a continuation of the Operation STOP effort troopers have used this year.

"Distracted driving is one of the most significant problems we see on our highways now," says SCDPS director Leroy Smith in a press release. "The SCDPS chose Thanksgiving to enforce the state's no texting law because of the heavy traffic and long distances many drive.
  • South Carolina Dept. of Public Safety
Last year, SCHP issued 1,034 citations for texting and driving based on the 2014 law passed by the South Carolina Legislature which reads, in part: "It is unlawful for a person to use a wireless electronic communication device to compose, send, or read a text-based communications while operating a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways of this State."  The enforcement will take place on interstates and main highways and will be conducted by SCHP troops in unmarked vehicles, with each vehicle staffed by two troopers. Normal enforcement of texting and driving laws will be conducted by SCDPS enforcement officers in all areas of the state.

SCHP Col. Chris Williamson makes a cutting analogy that those those traveling on busy roads this holiday season should remember: "Unfortunately our troopers see the tragic results of these mistakes too often. What many people do not realize is sending one text at 55 miles per hour is equivalent to driving blind the length of a football field."

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