Law enforcement cracks down on texting while driving

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - You might see them all the time, cars stopped at green lights and drivers swerving on the road.

A texting while driving ban here in South Carolina is geared toward eliminating distracted driving to prevent the accidents they cause.

WMBF News found out how the new law is shaping up in the area.

"There must have probable cause that a violation has occurred based on an officer's clear and unobstructed view," Major Michael Nunn with Florence County Sheriff's Office said.

Major Michael Nunn is one officer in our area who has already issued a couple of warning citations for people he said he caught texting while driving.

The law says an officer must see you texting while driving and know you are doing so in order for you to be ticketed.

"What gives us key points that something is going on is that you're holding up traffic. You're swerving and not paying attention," Sergeant Kim Nelson with the Darlington City Police said.

Up until December 26, if you are caught texting and driving you'll only get a warning, but after that date you'll get a $25 ticket.

"This is not a criminal offense. It's not a point violation. You can't be arrested for this violation and the statute is very clear about it," Nunn said.

But the law does allow public safety officials, like law enforcement officers, to text and drive while on the job.

And there are still times when you can text inside of your car.

"It's not against the law to text when you are lawfully stopped," Nunn said.

Also, you can text if you are getting emergency assistance or using a hands free device.

As many kids in our area soon go back to school Sergeant Kim Nelson with the Darlington City Police has a message for you.

"When you are going through school zones please don't text and drive. A bus may stop in front of you and if you are not aware you'll run right into the back of it or you could hit a child," Nelson said.

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