Haley signs texting ban for Palmetto State

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV/AP) -- Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill Monday banning the use of a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle.

Under the ban, drivers must be fully parked to be able to text using a wireless handheld device "to compose, send, or read a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle on the public highways."

GPS navigators and texting while driving to contact emergency services would be permitted under the law, however.

The new ban would create consistency across South Carolina and supersede local ordinances that vary by city. Police would issue warnings the first 180 days of the ban before citations are handed out.

Drivers would not receive penalty points, but would face fines starting at $25.

The bill was sponsored by Sens. Vincent Sheheen, Luke Rankin, Thomas Alexander and Joel Lourie. It was first introduced in the Senate in February 2013.

To see the bill in full, click here.