North Myrtle Beach police enforce Texting while Driving ban

Texting while driving became illegal in South Carolina in June 2014. | Source: Brooke Holden
Texting while driving became illegal in South Carolina in June 2014. | Source: Brooke Holden

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- Two months into the statewide texting and driving ban and local police say they know what to look for, despite the difficulty that comes along with proving a driver is indeed texting.

The ban was put into place just over two months ago.

North Myrtle Beach Public Safety officers say they have only given a handful of warnings, but that doesn't mean people aren't doing it.

Chief Phillip Webster feels some drivers think they have no limits when it comes to texting.
"Unfortunately I think people are texting at any speed," he said.

Webster admits it's a scary thought. Police say some drivers take these chances, and that slight distraction tacks onto a drivers' estimated 1.6-second response time.

"A child can dart out in front of you, if you aren't paying attention to the road. There's a chance you aren't going to see the kid," explains Lance Corporal Raymond Pollock with North Myrtle Beach Public Safety.

"It's easy to glance down at your phone, get distracted -- you rear end somebody, drive off the road and cause a collision of your own. I have actually seen people stop in the middle of the road as traffic continues through the light" reveals Chief Webster.

Chief Webster says although the act may not be as easy to prove, it's easy to spot and he compares it to something that can be just as deadly.

"Well it mimics drinking and driving. You see weaving, very very slow speeds. I've actually seen people stop in the middle of the road," he said.

As a driver, you can refuse to show an officer your phone if you're pulled over, but it may not be chance you'll be willing to take.

Officers say if an accident is serious enough, they have their ways to prove a driver was on their phone at the time of the crash.

"We would just subpoena the phone records through the phone provider," says Lance Corporal Pollock.

For those who think they have texting and driving down pat, police want it to be known they hear the same kind of excuses when it comes to drinking and driving.

"It's the same argument and it doesn't hold any water," compares Chief Webster.

North Myrtle Beach Police hope the low amount of warnings is something that continues because for them, it's frustrating to see drivers not paying attention.

They hope this time serves as an education process, so come time to ticket, they wont see any repeat offenders.

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