Charleston City Council to review texting ban ordinance

Published: Aug. 17, 2013 at 7:22 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A ban on texting while driving could be making its way to the City of Charleston.

According to the Charleston City Council's Wednesday agenda, an ordinance will be presented that would make it illegal for a person to use an electronic communication device for certain purposes while driving a motor vehicle.

The ordinance includes a ban on text messaging, reading text messages, emailing, using a digital assistant, or typing on a computer while driving.

If an arresting officer has probable cause to believe a driver is using their cell phone unlawfully, the ordinance states officers would be able to subpoena telephone records for the device in question.

The ordinance will not apply to drivers who are using mobile devices while parked or stopped, the use of factory-installed or aftermarket GPS devices or wireless devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system, as well as the use of voice-operated technology.

The amendment will also not apply to law enforcement officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers who are using the device to perform their official duties.

Those who are caught will be hit with a fine of $100, the ordinance states.

If the ordinance shall pass, it will go into effect on October 1, 2013.

A similar ban recently passed its first reading with the Mt. Pleasant Town Council. The texting ban passed 6 to 3, while a hands-free ordinance banning the use of all electronic devices while driving failed.

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