Columbia Texting Ban Passes - DatelineCarolina

Drivers Unsure About Columbia's New Texting While Driving Ban

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Gillian Rumpf doesn't plan to stop texting Gillian Rumpf doesn't plan to stop texting
Mayor Steve Benjamin says the ban is aimed at keeping Columbia citizens safe from distracted drivers Mayor Steve Benjamin says the ban is aimed at keeping Columbia citizens safe from distracted drivers

By: Emilie Reinhard

Columbia's City Council passed its texting while driving law Wednesday. But many texters, like Gillian Rumpf, are not even aware of the new law.

"Wait. Are they banning texting in South Carolina?" Rumpf asked.

People like Rumpf will longer be able to check their email, read their incoming text messages, or log on to text-based social media sites while driving within city limits.

People will be allowed to text when lawfully stopped and can use internal functions of their phone, like GPS.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is behind the ban and says it's more of a precautionary measure than anything.

"It's a pure public safety issue," Benjamin said.  "Just making sure we're doing everything that we possibly can to make sure people of this city, includes of course students at the university, are safe from distracted driving."

Rumpf says she has a plan to keep texting without getting stopped.

"I try to keep my radar detector on at all times so I know if a cop's nearby," Rumpf said. "So if that goes off while I'm texting and driving I'll just put my phone down."

Columbia drivers will be given 30 days from Wednesday until police begin enforcing the ban.

The South Carolinastate legislature is still debating a texting ban that would be state-wide.

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