Letters to the Editor

It’s time to institute hands-free driving legislation in South Carolina

AP file photo

Legislators in South Carolina should be commended for considering a bill that would prohibit the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving. A recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that distracted driving is a major problem, and smartphones continue to be the leading distraction for motorists. In fact, some evidence shows that the problem is getting worse and more drivers are using their phones now than ever before.

1,034 people died in South Carolina last year from auto accidents, and thousands more were seriously injured. Sadly, South Carolina has remained among the top fiev states for auto fatalities per million miles driven over the last several years.

Polling data from the American Property and Casualty Insurers Association (APCIA) revealed that 65 percent of South Carolinians support a “hands-free” law. Georgia recently enacted similar legislation and is already starting to see a reduction in accident frequency and fatalities compared to the previous year. Limiting distractions while we’re behind the wheel will help reduce preventable deaths on our roadways. It is time for South Carolina to join more than 15 other states and pass “hands-free” legislation.

Russ Dubisky


Graham needs to ensure we see Mueller’s findings

Sen. Lindsey Graham needs to schedule a hearing and vote on the bipartisan “Special Counsel Transparency Act,” to ensure that the American people have the full set of facts from Special Counsel Mueller.

Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have introduced this bill to make sure the Special Counsel’s findings are made public for everyone to read. It’s the only way to make sure we can all see what Robert Mueller finds, and that those implicated in the Special Counsel’s investigation are held accountable. And it’s popular: taxpayers like us paid for the investigation, and we deserve to see the results. In a CNN poll, 90 percent of voters, including 82 percent of Republicans, say that Mueller’s findings should be made public.

Sen. Graham has previously supported the Special Counsel and said he should be free to complete his investigation. Now is the time for him to stand by his words.

Andrew Hudson


State income tax puts a damper on SC for military

I am a proud South Carolinian, however I have not lived in the state for over 15 years because I am in the Army.

Despite the fact that I do not stay in South Carolina and therefore do not benefit from anything the state government does, I pay approximately $280/month in income tax for the privilege of being a South Carolina citizen. I have family in Florida, which famously has no state income tax. Why should I continue to put up with $280 confiscated from my paycheck every month with nothing in return, when I could simply move back to Florida?

I ask this question as an example of many members of the Armed Forces from South Carolina stationed out of state who pay state income tax but have nothing to show for it. Many have already changed their home of record to states with no income tax.

What is to attract them back to South Carolina at the end of their time in the military? Changing our home of record takes practically no effort. Why should we not do so to better take care of ourselves, our families and our futures?

Jason Werstak


The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.