South Carolina Distracted Driving Laws

South Carolina is one of the few states that don’t have a statewide ban on texting or cell phone use while driving. However, the state allows cities to enact bans on their own, and since South Carolina Legislature hasn’t been able to pass statewide distracted driving laws, more and more municipalities are putting local bans in effect. At the moment, there are bans on texting while driving in Camden, Columbia, Walhalla, Clemson, Sumter, Mount Pleasant, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort and West Union.

Mount Pleasant and Beauford County banned texting while driving in September, 2013. Beauford County prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from all cell phone use (hand-held and hands-free), in addition to the text messaging ban, which applies to all drivers. First-time offenders Beauford County face a $100 fine, which can be as high as $300 for third-time offenders, whereas those who violate the texting ban in Mount Pleasant are subject to a $50 fine.

Charleston is the latest city to impose a ban on texting while driving, which went into effect in November, 2013. There is a 60-day warning period, after which police officers will be able to issue tickets to those who violate the ban. The fine is $100 plus court costs. This is a ban that calls for primary enforcement.