South Carolina’s Cellphone-Use & Texting-While-Driving Laws

Read about South Carolina’s distracted driving laws and the costs of a violation.

South Carolina’s distracted driving law makes it illegal to text message while driving. However, the state has no restrictions on using a cellphone for calls while operating a vehicle.

South Carolina’s Text-Messaging-While-Driving Ban

In South Carolina, all drivers are prohibited from using a wireless communication device to compose, send, or read a text message (or other text-based communications like email) while operating a vehicle on a public street or highway. The prohibition applies to cellphones, personal digital assistants, text-messaging devices, computers, and the like.

Exceptions to the Texting Law

The texting law contains a number of exceptions. The restriction doesn’t apply to drivers who are:

  • lawfully parked or stopped
  • using hands-free technologies
  • summoning emergency assistance
  • transmitting or receiving data as part of a digital dispatch system, or
  • using a GPS or electronic device for obtaining information related to traffic or road conditions.

Also, emergency services personnel aren’t subject to the texting law while in the performance of official duties.

Penalties for Texting While Driving in South Carolina

Generally, the fine for a texting violation can’t exceed $25, and a texting ticket won’t result in demerit points being assessed the driver’s record.

Distracted Driving and Other Possible Charges

In certain situations, a texting-while-driving violation could lead to reckless driving charges. And if a distracted driving offense contributes to the death of another person, reckless vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.

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