Summerville officials to discuss texting ban

File Photo (WCIV)

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Summerville could be the next Lowcountry town with a ban on texting and driving.

The town's Public Safety Committee agenda includes a proposal to "ban texting or emailing while operating a motor vehicle."

Mount Pleasant passed a texting-while-driving ban last September. If drivers type anything into a mobile device, they face a $50 fine for the first offense. That includes composing emails, texts, and visiting social media sites. However, dialing a phone number is acceptable.

In October, the City of Charleston revised their ordinance to put a ban on any use of cellphones while driving other than to make a call. The fine was increased from $100 to $262, which includes court costs.

Charleston's ordinance forbids the use of cellphones as an MP3 player, radio, or GPS navigation device while a person is driving. To change music or get directions, a driver has to pull over, park, and then handle his cellphone.

Charleston also goes a step beyond Mount Pleasant's ordinance, adding the use of any wheeled conveyance - bicycles, golf carts, skateboards, mopeds, rickshaws or horse-drawn carriages.

A statewide texting ban is also in the works, but has not yet been passed into law.

The Town of Summerville will hold its committee meeting on Wednesday, March 5, in the Annex Building on Main Street. It is open to the public and begins at 4 p.m.