Distracted driving ban heads to public hearing next month

By Ava

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) Students at Charleston Southern University are taking their turn behind the wheel as an impaired or distracted driver.{}{}

Sophomore Nicole Cunningham says she tried the simulation as a drunk driver. Texting and driving is something she does pretty regularly.

"Sometimes, I can attest. I'll maybe text and drive and then look over and think 'Oh my God, we could have hit each other.' I know that's not safe and I don't want to kill anybody or myself," said Cunningham.

A traveling driving simulation called Arrive Alive is touring campuses hoping to spread the word to prevent both drunk driving and texting while driving.

"There's one drunk driving accident to every four texting and driving accidents. So texting and driving has surpassed it up to the legal limit of alcohol," said Martin Burke, a driving instructor for Arrive Alive.

Saving lives is also the goal of a proposed Charleston city ordinance that would ban texting while driving.{}

"It's absolutely essential, this is a life and safety matter if we pass this ordinance then people know if they do they are breaking the law," said Mayor Joe Riley.

A public hearing on the proposed distracted driving ordinance will take place on Sept. 9 at 5:00 p.m. in City Hall.