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TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-3890, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO A PERSON'S UNLAWFUL USE OF A WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE TERM "HANDS-FREE WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE" MEANS A DEVICE THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE THE USE OF EITHER HAND TO ACTIVATE OR DEACTIVATE AN INTERNAL FEATURE OR FUNCTION OF THE DEVICE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE OPERATOR OF A MOTOR VEHICLE MAY USE A HANDS-FREE WIRELESS ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICE IN VOICE-ACTIVATED MODE ONLY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 56-5-3890(A), (B), and (C) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 260 of 2014, is amended to read:
"(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 shall not 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 in voice-activated mode only;
(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."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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