SC bill would set fines for texting while driving

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - People convicted of texting and driving will have to pay a $45 in fines under legislation that is up for debate in a South Carolina Senate committee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday plans to discuss a measure that requires a $20 fine plus a $25 state trauma care fund surcharge if the person is convicted.

The fines can be much higher after court and other surcharges are added. They could also cost a driver a license point.

The measure says that police have to have a clear and unobstructed view of what the driver is doing. And they can't cite drivers who are looking up telephone contacts or dialing their phones.

Police also won't be allowed to take the phone if they stop the driver or use the violation as a reason to search cars.

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