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Greenville residents asked opinion on proposed texting while driving ordinance

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An online survey was recently posted by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce asking for public opinion on cell phone use while driving, Fox Carolina reported January 9.

The survey webpage, which is no longer available, was made available to ask how the Greenville community feels about drivers using cell phones and other hand held devices.

Mayor Pro Tem David Sudduth is concerned about more than the dangers of texting while driving. A taskforce is also looking into a new law that would forbid talking on a cellphone in a driver’s hand, using a cellphone as a GPS or navigational device, and reading directions.

A meeting was held in September when city council, their legal team and police representatives met to discuss an ordinance about what should and shouldn't be allowed while driving.

While many cities now have ordinances against texting and driving, Sudduth recognizes it would be difficult to enforce if that were the only ban. An ordinance that would outlaw holding a cell phone while driving, which is something a police officer could more accurately enforce, is being considered.

Offenders will have a gradual penalty system if the ban is passed. A first-time offender can expect a fine of up to $100, with subsequent offenses resulting in a higher fine. The court would also have the right to seize the device.

Hands free devices will be allowed under the planned ordinance, as well as emergency situations and first responders where the person must use their device.

Parents especially would like to see a ban on any use of a cell phone while driving. Unfortunately texting isn't the only thing to blame for accidents. Any form of distracted driving can lead to an accident, including those that cause fatalities.

So how strict an ordinance do you believe would most cut down on accidents? Is it wrong to ban people from talking on their cell phone as they drive, or do you believe only texting should be banned. Just how much control should city council have over our personal devices?

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