Fountain Inn Texting and Driving Ban Passes First Reading -

Fountain Inn Texting and Driving Ban Passes First Reading

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Texting While Driving Ban Passes First Reading in Fountain Inn Texting While Driving Ban Passes First Reading in Fountain Inn
FOUNTAIN INN, S.C. - Texting and driving is a hot topic of discussion across the Upstate. Should it be banned and how can that ban be enforced?

Thursday, yet another Upstate community worked to create their own law aimed at driver safety. The city of Fountain Inn said this would not be an income producing law, but rather an opportunity to educate drivers and keep them safe.

 If it passes, Fountain Inn will join the ranks of several Upstate cities who have already adopted a texting and driving ban in some form. Members of the Fountain Inn city council addressed several issues with the passage of such a ban, namely, how to enforce it.

While they want to keep their ban simple - just a ban on texting itself - the city said they've looked to other cities with similar legislation.

Fountain Inn Police Chief, Keith Morton said they've used Clemson as a guide. Clemson was the first city in South Carolina to pass a city-wide ban. The fines are steep. After court costs, you could pay more than $200 dollars.

Morton says it's been a teaching tool and ticket writing has been at a minimum. This is something he believes will translate in Fountain Inn as they enforce the law.

“I think we'll have some training. We certainly know what to look for. We're out here every day doing this anyway. What we want to do is not to generate income, but protect our citizens and change behavior,” said Morton.

The council is also looking to the city of Greenville. Their texting ban goes into effect April 1st. Fountain Inn wants to adopt a similar citation scale; $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and $300 for the third.

“I think everyone is in agreement that texting is too distracting in a moving vehicle and our goal is always compliance and safety,” said Chief Morton.

The first reading passed in a 5-0 vote and will now move into a discussion and amendment phase before the 2nd and final reading.

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