Politics & Government

Lawmakers to tackle phone proposals

A sweeping measure that would ban texting and talking on hand-held cell phones goes before the 18-member S.C. House Education and Public Works Committee today at 2:30 p.m.

The measure, one of more than a dozen proposals in the House and Senate, is the first one to reach a full committee.

Today's hearing thus offers the first chance this year to see how a cross-section of lawmakers react to a potentially divisive issue.

Driver cell phone use is seen as a public safety issue by some. Others consider talking or texting while driving a right.

Also this afternoon, at 3 p.m., the 23-member Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider a narrow cell phone bill that would only ban texting by regular motorists.

The House version would also prohibit school bus drivers from texting or talking on a cell phone. The Senate bill contains no such prohibition.