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Elected officials meet in Myrtle Beach, discuss texting and driving

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) -

Michael Maluk wants to see an end to texting and driving in South Carolina. He said about a month ago he was riding his motorcycle with friends and almost got into an accident because someone was using their phone.

"We were going down single file and cars were coming by and people on the opposite side, were either on the phone or texting, actually came on the opposite side of the road where I had to veer off to the right side of the road to avoid getting hit by a car," said Maluk.

Maluk said it has become a hazard for pedestrians, other drivers, and motorcyclists.

"I think South Carolina should ban it or put a fine and implement that and also cell phone use, because people on definitely on cell phones are not paying attention," said Maluk.

That's what was being addressed Monday by Myrtle Beach City Council, Horry County Council, and Horry County Legislative delegation at a joint meeting. Some raised concerns about how the law might be written and if it would include all cell phone use in addition to texting. But the people who were vocal about the issue agreed that either way the issue needs to be addressed at a state level.

"We as a state need to step up and address this across the state, have something common that everyone understands," said Rep. Mike Ryhal, (R), Carolina Forest.

Ryhal said his initial concern was how it would be enforced. But he said troopers he spoke with think the bigger issue is just having the law created.

"They're having fatalities they would rather we step up and do it as was said to me, 'Mike when the seatbelt law came in everybody said how are you going to enforce that, you just step up and enforce it,'" said Ryhal.

Ryhal said he will look at legislation that exists to see if anything fits with what he envisions for South Carolina, if not he will get something drafted. He said he wants to get it on the table in the next few weeks so they can start discussion the first week of January.

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