State law. Drivers are prohibited from using a wireless electronic communications device to read, compose, or send text-based messages while operating a motor vehicle on public roads in the state. Covered under the law are texts, instant messages, and e-mails (SC Code Sec. §56-5-3890).
Drivers may read, compose, and send messages when a vehicle is stopped or legally parked. They may also send voice-based messages via hands-free devices while driving.
Exemptions. Exempt from the law are the use of global positioning system (GPS) devices and the sending of messages to report an emergency or to summon emergency assistance.
Local ordinances. The new law supersedes previous county and municipal texting prohibitions.