South Carolina close to adopting texting ban

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A joint state House and Senate committee has reached a compromise on legislation which would ban on texting while driving in South Carolina.

      Under the proposed ban, drivers must be fully parked to be able to text using a wireless handheld device. GPS navigators and texting while driving to contact emergency services would be permitted.

      If passed and signed into law, the ban would create consistency across South Carolina and supersede local ordinances that vary by city.

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

      Committee chairman Republican Sen. Luke Rankin of Conway says the state would issue warnings for 180 days after the ban becomes law before citations are issued.

      The committee plans on presenting the compromise tomorrow after they fix a technicality.

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