In early June 2014, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a long over-due ban on texting while driving. Shortly after, Governor Nikki Haley approved the ban, making South Carolina the 44 th state in America to ban texting for all drivers. For many, the new law is essential to protecting everyone from the dangers of texting behind the wheel, a practice which causes more than 1.6 million accidents and 300,000 injuries each year, according to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Here at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our South Carolina car accident attorneys have helped many injured victims get the compensation they deserved after being injured by distracted drivers. Although the ban has been a long time in the making, our team is thrilled that South Carolina now has a statewide ban.
What You Need to Know About the Law
To help South Carolinians better understand the texting while driving ban, we've put together a few important details about the new law:
- The law is currently in effect. However, law enforcement officers will only issue warnings for the first 180 days. Tickets with a fine will begin to be issued in mid-December.
- Texting while driving is illegal for drivers of all ages when the vehicle is moving. The law allows drivers to text, email, and instant message when their vehicle is parked or stopped at a stop light or stop sign. Talking on a phone and using a GPS device is still legal.
- Drivers who are caught texting while driving later this year will be ticketed and may face a $25 dollar fine. The infraction would not be reported to insurers or recorded in DMV or SLED records.
- To give drivers tickets, officers must have a "clear and unobstructed" view of motorists texting behind the wheel.
Texting while driving causes far too many accidents, injuries, and deaths each year, and South Carolina's new law will hopefully make our roadways safer by reducing the number of these preventable car wrecks. Although the law is in place, it is likely many drivers will still continue to negligently text message while driving – which is why our firm is always prepared to protect the rights of injured victims.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a driver who you believe was distracted or texting, George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help! To request a free case review and learn more about your rights, call 888-612-7001.