Reference is to the bill as introduced.
Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting words and inserting:
/SECTION 1. Article 31, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
(A) For purposes of this section:
(1) 'Electronic communication device' means an electronic device, including, but not limited to a wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, a text messaging device, or a portable or mobile computer while being used for the purpose of composing, reading, or sending an electronic message, but does not include a global positioning system or navigation system or a device that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.
(2) 'Electronic message' means a self-contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices. 'Electronic message' includes, but is not limited to electronic mail, a text message, an instant message, or a command or request to access an Internet site.
(B) A person may not use an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway.
(C) This section does not apply to a person operating a vehicle while:
(1) off the traveled portion of a roadway;
(2) using an electronic communication device in hands-free, voice-activated, or voice-operated mode;
(3) activating or deactivating an electronic communication device or an internal feature or function of the device not associated with electronic messaging;
(4) summoning medical or other emergency assistance;
(5) an operator of a commercial motor vehicle reading a message displayed on a permanently installed communications device designed for a commercial motor vehicle with a screen that does not exceed ten inches tall by ten inches wide inside; or
(6) a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or other public safety official while in the performance of the person's official duties.
(D) A person who violates this
section where no great bodily injury or death resulted from the
violation, is guilty of misdemeanor distracted driving and, upon
conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars, pay
a twenty-five dollar Trauma Care Fund surcharge in accordance
with Section 56-5-3897, and have two points assessed against his
driving record in accordance with Section 56-1-720. The fine is
subject to all applicable court costs, assessments, and
(E) This section preempts local ordinances, regulations, and resolutions adopted by municipalities, counties, and other local government entities regarding persons using hand-held and hands-free wireless electronic communication devices while operating motor vehicles on the public streets and highways of this State.
(F) Nothing in this section is intended to conflict with enforcement of applicable restrictions or requirements imposed on commercial motor vehicle operators pursuant to the federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations."
SECTION 2. Article 31, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
(A) A person who, while operating a
motor vehicle using an electronic communication device as
prohibited by Section 56-5-3890 and when operating a motor
vehicle commits an act prohibited by law or neglects a duty
imposed by law in the operation of the motor vehicle, and causes
great bodily injury or death to another person is guilty of the
misdemeanor offense of improper use of an electronic
communication device while operating a vehicle and, upon
conviction, must be punished by a fine of
not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more
than three years, or both, when great bodily injury or death
(B) As used in this section, 'great bodily injury' means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
The Department of Motor Vehicles must suspend the driver's license of a person who is convicted or who receives sentence upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere pursuant to this section for one year for a conviction of Section 56-5-3895 when 'great bodily injury' occurs, and two years when a death occurs. For suspension purposes of this section, convictions arising out of a single incident shall run concurrently.
(C) An additional one hundred dollar surcharge for each fine imposed pursuant to this section must be placed into the Trauma Care Fund pursuant to Section 56-5-3897."
SECTION 3. Article 31, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 56-5-3897. Monies received by the Trauma Care Fund pursuant to 56-5-3890, 56-5-3895 and 56-5-3897 must be deposited with the city or county treasurer, as applicable, for remittance to the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall deposit the Trauma Care Fund surcharge in the South Carolina State Trauma Care Fund. The Trauma Care Fund surcharge must not be used by the Department of Health and Environmental Control for the payment of the department's administrative or operating expenses or for any purpose other than providing financial aid to participating trauma care providers and grants related to trauma care in this State. The Trauma Care Fund surcharge is not subject to the provisions of Section 44-61-520(G)."
SECTION 4. Section
56-1-720 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-1-720. There is established a point system for the evaluation of the operating record of persons to whom a license to operate motor vehicles has been granted and for the determination of the continuing qualifications of these persons for the privileges granted by the license to operate motor vehicles. The system shall have as its basic element a graduated scale of points assigning relative values to the various violations in accordance with the following schedule:
Reckless driving 6
Passing stopped school bus 6
Hit-and-run, property damages only 6
Driving too fast for conditions, or speeding:
(1) No more than 10 m.p.h. above the posted limits 2
(2) More than 10 m.p.h. but less than 25 m.p.h. above the
posted limits 4
(3) 25 m.p.h. or above the posted limits 6
Disobedience of any official traffic control device 4
Disobedience to officer directing traffic 4
Failing to yield right of way 4
Driving on wrong side of road 4
Passing unlawfully 4
Turning unlawfully 4
Driving through or within safety zone 4
Failing to give signal or giving improper signal for stopping,
turning, or suddenly decreased speed 4
Shifting lanes without safety precaution 2
Improper dangerous parking 2
Following too closely 4
Failing to dim lights 2
Operating with improper lights 2
Operating with improper brakes 4
Operating a vehicle in unsafe condition 2
Driving in improper lane 2
Improper backing 2
Distracted driving 2."
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor. /
Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.