Whether you’re a South Carolina resident or passing through the state during your travels, it’s important to be aware of South Carolina driving laws. The laws pertaining to safe travel go beyond adhering to the speed limit or wearing a seatbelt. There are other laws that you’ll need to be aware of as a driver in South Carolina to avoid legal action.
Here are five surprising South Carolina driving laws you need to know.
1. Cell Phone Use While Driving Is Prohibited
In South Carolina, drivers who are 18 years of age and under are not permitted to use a cell phone or other mobile technology when driving except when talking to a spouse or parent or in the event of an emergency. Those who break the law will pay a fine of $25 but won’t have points deducted from their driver’s license.
Drivers of all ages are prohibited from writing or reading emails or text messages while the car is in motion. Violators could face a fine of $100 as well as court costs.
2. Littering Is Against the Law
It is against South Carolina law to litter on private or public property. If a person owns the property, littering is permitted. Those who violate the law could pay up to a $200 fine and/or be required to complete community service and spend up to 30 days in jail. This means you should avoid throwing things out of the window when you’re driving. Your car could be tracked or a law enforcement officer may pull you over to give you a citation.
3. Driving While Impaired Is a Serious Offense
As in most states, you can not operate a motor vehicle in the state of South Carolina if you are under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher will face driving while impaired charge. At the very least, drivers who are guilty of driving while impaired could pay up to $200 in fines and possible prison time that could last from 24 hours to 30 days. The maximum penalty for driving while impaired is a $4,000 fine and a prison term of 30 days to 24 months.
Convicted drivers will also face license suspension enforced by the South Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles for at least 12 months. Those who have a previous DWI charge could be tried as a felon and their automobiles may be sold or seized.
4. Not Using a Seatbelt Could Cost You
All occupants in a vehicle have to wear a seat belt. In South Carolina, the fine for front-seat drivers without a seat belt is $25; passengers in the backseat face a $10 fine. Children who are 8 years of age or younger and weigh 80 pounds or less have to ride in a safety seat. Children older than 8 have to use a booster seat. Drivers who do not properly secure children in a booster or safety seat have to pay a $125 fine along with court costs and face a two-point driving record penalty.
5. The Move Over Law Is in Effect
Drivers and motorists have to move over one lane or slow down if it is not possible to switch lanes when passing emergency or law enforcement vehicles with flashing lights. this law also applies to wreckers and incident management patrol vehicles that are stopped on the highway shoulder. Drivers who fail to do this face a fine of $250.
If South Carolina police and the Department of Transportation agree, a standing, parked or disabled vehicle can be moved off the roadway if the vehicle is a safety concern.
Report a South Carolina speeding problem to seek compensation if you’ve been a victim of a car accident. A personal injury lawyer with experience and knowledge of South Carolina traffic laws can review the details of your case so you can receive a fair settlement.