Texting behind the wheel is now illegal in the city of Charleston. The ban was passed in October 2013, and allowed for a 30-day education period informing drivers about what’s expected once actively enforced. Now, a strict crackdown has kicked in carrying a $100 penalty and court costs.
Dialing and taking/making mobile calls aren’t covered by the ban. What it targets is drivers who excessively ‘manipulate a device’ without bringing the phone to their ear. This means no more texting, scrolling through songs, playing games or browsing the web. Charleston expanded the ordinance to cover other wheeled vehicles that include bikes, golf carts, mopeds, skateboards and even horse carriages.
Although strict enforcement has kicked in, the hardest part is ensuring that officers seek clear and unobstructed view of a driver’s actions so that these cases stand up in the court of law. Exemptions include vehicles in a stationary and parked position, responders in the course of official duties and drivers trying to contact 911 or other emergency causes.