Flickr user indyplanetsBetter start pulling over to text.
Update: A quick reminder that you could land a $50 fine or more if you text while driving within the City of Beaufort. When you're outside the city limits, it may not be against the law, but it's still not safe to do.
Those under 18 are also prohibited from talking on the phone while driving.
Joining a number of other South Carolina cities, Beaufort police will begin enforcing a recently approved ban on texting while driving on November 10.
The ordinance also prohibits the use of a cellphone by anyone under the age of 18 while driving.
The Island Packet writes that all of city council voted in support of the ban.
Fines between $50 and $150 could be levied on offenders.
You can read the whole ordinance just below, and scroll all the way down to see a video by the Beaufort Police Department in which police chief Matt Clancy talks about the ban.
AMENDING PART 8 OF THE CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES TO MAKE IT UNLAWFUL FOR PERSONS TO USE CERTAIN ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE IN THE CITY
WHEREAS, studies have shown that minors utilizing a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle pose a special danger to other vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians on the roadway; and,
WHEREAS, studies have shown that drivers attempting to email, text or otherwise send or receive electronic messages on handheld electronic communication devices while operating a motor vehicle pose a special danger to other vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians on the roadway; and,
WHEREAS, City Council finds that it is in the best interest of the citizens and residents of Beaufort to prohibit the use of cell phones by minors operating a motor vehicle in the City, and to prohibit the use of handheld electronic communication devices to send or receive text-based communications while operating a motor vehicle in the City.
NOW THEREFORE, be it Ordained by the City Council of the City of Beaufort, duly assembled and by authority of the same, that Part 8 Chapter 1 of the Code of Ordinances be amended to add Section 8-1008 as follows:
Sec. 8-1008 Handheld electronic communication devices.
“Handheld electronic communication device” means an electronic device including, but not limited to a telephone, cell phone, personal digital assistant, text messaging device, email messaging device, a computer, or other such instrument that allows a person to wirelessly communicate with another while holding or operating such with the hand.
“Text-based communication” means a communication using text-based information including but not limited to, a text message, an SMS message, an instant message, or an electronic mail message.
(B) It shall be unlawful for a person under the age of eighteen (18) years to use a handheld electronic communication device while operating a vehicle on the streets of the City.
(C) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a vehicle in the City while sending or receiving text-based communication on a handheld electronic communication device.
(D) A person who violates this section is guilty of an infraction and shall be issued a Uniform Traffic Citation assessing a civil penalty in the amount of $50.00 for the first offense, $100.00 for the second offense, and $150.00 for the third and subsequent offenses. Such civil penalty is subject to all applicable court costs, assessments and surcharges, if any. No drivers license points or insurance surcharge shall be assessed as a result of a violation of this ordinance.