Distracted driving claims too many lives on South Carolina roadways, with mobile phone use posing a major threat. But with laws varying from state to state, and changing as new bills are passed, there is often confusion over the policy on phone use while driving.
Here at West Law Firm, our auto accident attorneys are committed to keeping you safe – and ensuring you have the most up-to-date information before you hit the road! That said, we have outlined the current laws regarding mobile phone use.
Texting While Driving
The practice of reading, typing or sending text messages while behind the wheel has been illegal since 2014. This ban also applies to other text-based communications, such as email. Because texting while driving is considered a “primary ban,” police officers do not need any other reason to pull you over – as long as they had a “clear and unobstructed view” of the offense. For first time offenders, a $25 fine is issued.
Remember that you are not legally obligated to let the officer search your phone. If you were wrongly accused, and fined because of it, contact West Law Firm today. Our experienced auto accident attorneys can help!
Hands-Free Phone Usage
Holding your cell phone to make a call or access a navigation app is still legal in South Carolina – but it might not be for long. The Hands-Free Act, legislation that will likely be passed this year, would make it illegal to hold a cell phone (or other mobile device) for virtually any reason while driving.
In addition to making calls and texting, this law would effectively ban drivers from checking social media, taking pictures, watching videos, etc. The penalty would increase as well, with first time offenders receiving a $100 fine and two points on their license.
This law would encourage drivers to utilize their vehicle’s hands-free feature for phone calls and navigation. Voice-to-text capabilities also come standard on many of today’s vehicles as well, ensuring drivers can stay connected while keeping their eyes on the road.
Your Berkeley County Auto Accidents Attorneys
If you have been involved in an accident caused by distracted driving, contact West Law Firm today. Our qualified auto accident lawyers are not only dedicated to keeping you safe, but protecting your rights.
Before speaking to the insurance company, schedule your free consultation with a member of our team. Call West Law Firm today at 843-761-5626 or click here!