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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A statewide texting-while-driving ban might soon be a reality for South Carolina, though many wonder whether it will be effective.

Both legislative chambers passed separate bills last week that supporters say will create consistency and replace the current hodgepodge of bans in cities and towns across the state. Each bill now crosses over to the other chamber for consideration.

However, bill sponsor Sen. Larry Martin of Pickens says the increasing number of ordinances being passed in municipalities and counties denotes that local leaders don't share legislators' faith in the bill.

Greenville councilman David Sudduth says he hopes the final bill will include penalty points on drivers' licenses but doesn't expect the ban will have stiff enough fines to deter texting.

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