New Greenville Signs Alert Drivers to Ban - WSPA.com

New Greenville Signs Alert Drivers to Ban

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Greenville is in the process of installing 34 of these signs on each Greenville city limits sign by the end of March. Greenville is in the process of installing 34 of these signs on each Greenville city limits sign by the end of March.
GREENVILLE, S.C. -

You probably see it on the road all the time – people talking on their phone and texting behind the wheel.

Starting April 1, any driver doing that in the city of Greenville could be pulled over and fined.

The city is in the process of installing 34 signs that say, “Use of all handheld devices prohibited while driving” on each Greenville city limits sign by the end of March.

Greenville driver Spyros Koutsioukis said he’s grateful for Greenville's distracted driving ban, which starts April 1.

“I think it's going to be a good idea for us. Maybe more people will be more careful and less people will get hurt," said Koutsioukis.

He said he's had some close calls with other drivers staring at their phones.

“All the time, it's constant," said Koutsioukis.

Under the new ordinance, police can pull drivers over and ticket them for talking on a phone, texting or using any other handheld device -- even while stopped at a red light.

If your GPS is not voice-activated, you'll have to type in your destination and secure it to your dashboard, instrument panel or console before driving. While you're on the road, you can touch the screen to initiate a function – but that’s it.

Here's a link to some frequently asked questions about how the ordinance works.

Greenville driver Sergio Burnside said he thinks the ban could lead to the perception of racial profiling.

“You know, minorities -- Spanish, blacks and things of that nature -- they're going to start probably taking it personally. I don't think it's a good thing and I think the police already have enough on their plate already, so why add something to it?" said Burnside.

Burnside said he'd feel better if Greenville Police got special training on enforcing the new ordinance. Police public information officer Johnathan Bragg said officers were given copies of the ordinance, but they will not be trained on enforcing it.

Police, firefighters and ambulance drivers are exempt from the hands-free ordinance, as long as they're using the device for their official duties.

A texting and driving ban passed its first reading in Fountain Inn earlier this month.

Clemson was the first upstate city to ban it, although drivers are allowed to use their devices at red lights.

A statewide texting and driving ban was blocked in the statehouse earlier this month.

Related:
Fountain Inn Texting and Driving Ban Passes First Reading

Jenna Troum
Jenna is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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