CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston police will spend the next 30 days placing signs around the city and issuing educational handouts to inform motorists that texting while driving is now illegal in the city of Charleston.
Charleston City Council passed an ordinance banning texting while driving within city limits on Tuesday, October 8. If convicted, offending motorists will be fined $262.
According to a release, the Charleston Police Department will place signs and messages boards throughout the city over the next 30 days to advise motorists about the new texting ban. During this period, violators will also receive a handout with details on the new ordinance.
The ordinance states no person shall operate a vehicle on a public roadway while using an electronic device. The only exceptions are:
1) Vehicle is stationary and parked.
2) Device is being used ONLY for VOICE communications.
3) Public Safety Official during performance of official duties.
4) Person calling 911 during an emergency.
According to CPD spokesperson Charles Francis, the department will educate the public on the ban for 30 days, followed by a 30 day period where warnings will be issued. Then the ticketing will begin.
Charleston Chief of Police Greg Mullen says although the department is spending this time educating citizens on the ordinance, officer's can still enforce the law in aggravated cases.