South Carolina General Assembly
120th Session, 2013-2014

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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

A260, R270, S459

STATUS INFORMATION

General Bill
Sponsors: Senators Sheheen, Rankin, Alexander and Lourie
Document Path: l:\s-jud\bills\sheheen\jud0049.jjg.docx
Companion/Similar bill(s): 880

Introduced in the Senate on February 28, 2013
Introduced in the House on April 10, 2014
Last Amended on June 4, 2014
Passed by the General Assembly on June 4, 2014
Governor's Action: June 9, 2014, Signed

Summary: Use of cellphone while operating a motor vehicle

HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   2/28/2013  Senate  Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 4)
   2/28/2013  Senate  Referred to Committee on Judiciary 
                        (Senate Journal-page 4)
    3/8/2013  Senate  Referred to Subcommittee: Massey (ch), Coleman, 
                        Nicholson, Bennett, Shealy
   1/14/2014  Senate  Referred to Subcommittee: Massey (ch), Coleman, Bennett, 
                        Johnson, Shealy
   2/26/2014  Senate  Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary 
                        (Senate Journal-page 14)
   2/27/2014          Scrivener's error corrected
    3/6/2014  Senate  Committee Amendment Amended and Adopted 
                        (Senate Journal-page 18)
    3/6/2014  Senate  Read second time (Senate Journal-page 18)
    3/6/2014  Senate  Roll call Ayes-41  Nays-1 (Senate Journal-page 18)
    3/7/2014          Scrivener's error corrected
   3/26/2014  Senate  Amended (Senate Journal-page 44)
    4/9/2014  Senate  Read third time and sent to House 
                        (Senate Journal-page 36)
    4/9/2014  Senate  Roll call Ayes-38  Nays-2 (Senate Journal-page 36)
   4/10/2014  House   Introduced and read first time
   4/10/2014  House   Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works
   5/14/2014  House   Committee report: Favorable with amendment Education and 
                        Public Works (House Journal-page 7)
   5/20/2014  House   Amended (House Journal-page 61)
   5/20/2014  House   Read second time (House Journal-page 61)
   5/20/2014  House   Roll call Yeas-99  Nays-6 (House Journal-page 63)
   5/21/2014  House   Read third time and returned to Senate with amendments 
                        (House Journal-page 8)
   5/28/2014  Senate  Non-concurrence in House amendment 
                        (Senate Journal-page 101)
   5/29/2014  House   House insists upon amendment and conference committee 
                        appointed Reps. Owens, Daning, Branham
   5/29/2014  Senate  Conference committee appointed Rankin, Sheheen, Massey 
                        (Senate Journal-page 95)
    6/4/2014  House   Conference report adopted
    6/4/2014  House   Roll call Yeas-94  Nays-2
    6/4/2014  Senate  Conference report adopted (Senate Journal-page 81)
    6/4/2014  Senate  Roll call Ayes-42  Nays-2 (Senate Journal-page 81)
    6/4/2014  Senate  Ordered enrolled for ratification 
                        (Senate Journal-page 86)
    6/5/2014          Ratified R 270
    6/9/2014          Signed By Governor
   6/13/2014          Effective date 06/09/14
   6/26/2014          Act No. 260

View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site

VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

2/28/2013
2/26/2014
2/27/2014
3/6/2014
3/7/2014
3/26/2014
5/14/2014
5/20/2014
6/4/2014

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

NOTE: THIS COPY IS A TEMPORARY VERSION. THIS DOCUMENT WILL REMAIN IN THIS VERSION UNTIL PUBLISHED IN THE ADVANCE SHEETS TO THE ACTS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS. WHEN THIS DOCUMENT IS PUBLISHED IN THE ADVANCE SHEET, THIS NOTE WILL BE REMOVED.

(A260, R270, S459)

AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 56-5-3890 SO AS TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS RELATED TO THE USE AND OPERATION OF A WIRELESS ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICE, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR A PERSON TO USE A WIRELESS ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICE TO COMPOSE, SEND, OR READ A TEXT-BASED COMMUNICATION WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE ON THE PUBLIC HIGHWAYS OF THIS STATE, TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS PROHIBITION, TO PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION, TO PROVIDE THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION MUST NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE OFFENDER'S MOTOR VEHICLE RECORD OR REPORTED TO HIS MOTOR VEHICLE INSURER, TO PROVIDE THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS SHALL ISSUE ONLY WARNINGS FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS SECTION DURING THE FIRST ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS AFTER ITS EFFECTIVE DATE, TO PLACE CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS ON LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHO ENFORCE THIS SECTION, TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY TO MAINTAIN STATISTICAL INFORMATION REGARDING CITATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THIS SECTION PREEMPTS ALL ORDINANCES, REGULATIONS, AND RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES REGARDING PERSONS USING WIRELESS ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES WHILE OPERATING MOTOR VEHICLES ON THE PUBLIC HIGHWAYS OF THIS STATE.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Unlawful use of a wireless electronic communication device while operating a motor vehicle

SECTION    1.    Article 31, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 56-5-3890.    (A)    For purposes of this section:

(1)    'Hands-free wireless electronic communication device' means an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, a personal digital assistant, a text-messaging device, or a computer, which allows a person to wirelessly communicate with another person without holding the device in either hand by utilizing an internal feature or function of the device, an attachment, or an additional device. A hands-free wireless electronic communication device may require the use of either hand to activate or deactivate an internal feature or function of the device.

(2)    '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.

(3)    'Wireless electronic communication device' means an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, a personal digital assistant, a text-messaging device, or a computer, which allows a person to wirelessly communicate with another person.

(B)    It is unlawful for a person to use a wireless electronic communication device to compose, send, or read a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways of this State.

(C)    This section does not apply to a person who is:

(1)    lawfully parked or stopped;

(2)    using a hands-free wireless electronic communication device;

(3)    summoning emergency assistance;

(4)    transmitting or receiving data as part of a digital dispatch system;

(5)    a public safety official while in the performance of the person's official duties; or

(6)    using a global positioning system device or an internal global positioning system feature or function of a wireless electronic communication device for the purpose of navigation or obtaining related traffic and road condition information.

(D)(1)    A person who is adjudicated to be in violation of the provisions of this section must be fined not more than twenty-five dollars, no part of which may be suspended. No court costs, assessments, or surcharges may be assessed against a person who violates a provision of this section. A person must not be fined more than fifty dollars for any one incident of one or more violations of the provisions of this section. A custodial arrest for a violation of this section must not be made, except upon a warrant issued for failure to appear in court when summoned or for failure to pay an imposed fine. A violation of this section does not constitute a criminal offense. Notwithstanding Section 56-1-640, a violation of this section must not be:

(a)    included in the offender's motor vehicle records maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles or in the criminal records maintained by SLED; or

(b)    reported to the offender's motor vehicle insurer.

(2)    During the first one hundred eighty days after this section's effective date, law enforcement officers shall issue only warnings for violations of this section.

(E)    A law enforcement officer shall not:

(1)    stop a person for a violation of this section except when the officer has probable cause that a violation has occurred based on the officer's clear and unobstructed view of a person who is using a wireless electronic communication device to compose, send, or read a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways of this State;

(2)    seize, search, view, or require the forfeiture of a wireless electronic communication device because of a violation of this section;

(3)    search or request to search a motor vehicle, driver, or passenger in a motor vehicle, solely because of a violation of this section; or

(4)    make a custodial arrest for a violation of this section, except upon a warrant issued for failure to appear in court when summoned or for failure to pay an imposed fine.

(F)    The Department of Public Safety shall maintain statistical information regarding citations issued pursuant to this section.

(G)    This section preempts local ordinances, regulations, and resolutions adopted by municipalities, counties, and other local governmental entities regarding persons using wireless electronic communication devices while operating motor vehicles on the public streets and highways of this State."

Time effective

SECTION    2.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

Ratified the 5th day of June, 2014.

Approved the 9th day of June, 2014.

__________


This web page was last updated on June 26, 2014 at 10:22 AM