No April Fools..."Put it Down. Just Drive."
Tuesday, April 1, 2014on
The City of Greenville's Distracted Driving Ordinance went into effect today, April 1st. The rules.... The ordinance specifically prohibits the use of hand-held mobile devices while operating a vehicle, which includes not only while the vehicle is in motion, but also while the vehicle is temporarily stopped due to traffic, a traffic control device or other delays, such as waiting in a carpool line. The ordinance does permit drivers to use mobile devices while operating a vehicle, as long as they can be used hands free. In this case, hands free means that the driver is not holding a mobile device up to or near his or her ear to talk or listen, and that the driver is not holding a mobile device in his or her hand(s) and manipulating the keyboard or the screen. In other words, drivers may talk on their mobile phone, use their GPS or listen to music as long as they are using a Bluetooth, or as long as the device they are using is mounted on the dashboard or secured in a cradle or some type of holder. If the device cannot be used hands free, the driver must be legally parked in order to use their hand-held device. Drivers stopped for distracted driving could be charged a fine of up to $100, plus court costs. The fine increases for second and third offenses, and ultimately, could result in the loss of a driver’s hand-held device. Greenville police officers have the discretion to enforce the ordinance through warnings for a period of time. You can read the full ordinance and frequently asked questions at the City's site here. I personally plan to take this opportunity to lose any bad driving/talking/texting/reading email habits I have, because nothing on my phone could be more important than what and/or who may be directly ahead of or behind me.