Police to start issuing tickets this weekend to drivers who text

Published: Dec. 5, 2014 at 8:48 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2014 at 10:07 PM EST
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WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - Starting Sunday, law enforcement agencies across South Carolina will ticket people who are texting while driving.

The texting and driving ban was signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley back in June.

Drivers were given a 180-day grace period to get used to it.

Under the law it is illegal to text, instant message or e-mail while driving. But for many people it's not that simple.

They have questions.

"How would they know if you are texting and driving?" Shannon Hudnall asked.

"The South Carolina trooper or officer has to have a clear, unobstructed view of the cellphone that seems to them they have probable cause to believe you are texting and driving," Wimberly said.

We also got several questions on our Live 5 News Facebook page.

One person asked, "how about at a stop, like lights and stop sign sitting in traffic?"

"The South Carolina law on driving and texting permits you to send or read a text at a stop light, but you have to be completely stopped or at a stop sign," Wimberly explained.

"How much fine do they give people if they catch them texting while driving?" Estera Cruz asked.

"It's a $25.00 dollar fine. It's the same $25.00 each time you're pulled for texting and driving," Wimberly said.

We got another question from our Facebook page.

"I'm still confused on when you can look up traffic alerts and directions to another route."

"Yes you can. This is only for reading and sending text messages," Wimberly said. "You're still able to call, you're able to dial a phone number, you can still use your GPS."

She says your phone will not be confiscated if you are fined.

The state law replaces local bans on texting while driving that already were in effect.

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