Charleston council holding public hearing on texting ban

Charleston council holding public hearing on texting ban

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC/AP) - Charleston City Council is inviting the public to weigh in on Monday night on a proposal to ban texting while driving.

The council held initial discussions last month following the ban's approval in the Town of Mt. Pleasant, and some members are concerned.

The ban extends to: text messaging, reading text messages, emailing, using a digital assistant, and typing on a computer while driving.  Violators could face a $100 fine.

Councilman Mike Seekings says there could be questions during a traffic stop over whether a violation occurred. Seekings says it would be hard to determine if a driver was texting or just dialing a cellphone.

The ordinance would allow police to subpoena phone records of drivers. But Seekings says that would only show the minute a text was sent, not the second it was sent.

There also are questions about how much it would cost to subpoena the records.

Mount Pleasant was the first to approve a similar ordinance. James Island and Charleston County Council also are considering the idea.

The hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.