View Amendment Current Amendment: 1 to Bill 3121 The Committee on Education and Public Works proposes the following Amendment No. 1 to H. 3121 (COUNCIL\SWB\3121C004.SWB.CM13):

Reference is to the bill as introduced.

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting words and inserting:

/ SECTION      1.      Article 31, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

     "Section 56-5-3890.            (A)      For purposes of this section:
           (1)      'Electronic communication device' means an electronic device used for the purpose of composing, reading, or sending an electronic message, but does not include a global positioning system or navigation system or a device that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.
           (2)      'Electronic message' means a self-contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices. 'Electronic message' includes, but is not limited to electronic mail, a text message, an instant message, or a command or request to access an Internet site.
     (B)      A person may not use an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway.
     (C)      This section does not apply to a person operating a motor vehicle while:
           (1)      off the traveled portion of a roadway;
           (2)      using an electronic communication device in hands-free, voice-activated, or voice-operated mode that allows the user to review, prepare and transmit an electronic message without the use of either hand except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or function;
           (3)      summoning medical or other emergency assistance; or
           (4)      using a citizens band radio, commercial two-way radio communication device, in-vehicle security, or amateur or ham radio device.
     (D)      A person who violates this section where no great bodily injury or death resulted from the violation, is guilty of misdemeanor distracted driving and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars, pay a twenty-five dollar Trauma Care Fund surcharge in accordance with Section 56-5-3897, and have two points assessed against his driving record in accordance with Section 56-1-720. The fine is subject to all applicable court costs, assessments, and surcharges.
     (E)      This section preempts local ordinances, regulations, and resolutions adopted by municipalities, counties, and other local government entities regarding persons using hand-held and hands-free wireless electronic communication devices while operating motor vehicles on the public streets and highways of this State.
     (F)      Nothing in this section is intended to conflict with enforcement of applicable restrictions or requirements imposed on commercial motor vehicle operators pursuant to the federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations."

SECTION      2.      Article 31, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

     "Section 56-5-3895.      (A)      A person using an electronic communication device while as prohibited by Section 56-5-3890 and while operating that motor vehicle commits an act prohibited by law or neglects a duty imposed by law in the operation of the motor vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes great bodily injury or death to another person, is guilty of the offense of felony improper use of an electronic communication device while operating a vehicle and, upon conviction, must be punished:
           (1)      by a mandatory fine of not less than two thousand five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars and mandatory imprisonment for not less than thirty days nor more than five years when great bodily injury results; or
           (2)      by a mandatory fine of not less than five thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars and mandatory imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years when death results.
     A part of the mandatory sentences required to be imposed by this section must not be suspended, and probation may not be granted for any portion.
     (B)      As used in this section, 'great bodily injury' means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
     The Department of Motor Vehicles must suspend the driver's license of a person who is convicted or who receives sentence upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere pursuant to this section for one year for a conviction of Section 56-5-3895 when 'great bodily injury' occurs, and two years when a death occurs. For suspension purposes of this section, convictions arising out of a single incident shall run concurrently.
     (C)      An additional one hundred dollar surcharge for each fine imposed pursuant to this section must be placed into the Trauma Care Fund pursuant to Section 56-5-3897."

SECTION      3.      Article 31, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

     "Section 56-5-3897.      Monies received by the Trauma Care Fund pursuant to 56-5-3890, 56-5-3895 and 56-5-3897 must be deposited with the city or county treasurer, as applicable, for remittance to the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall deposit the Trauma Care Fund surcharge in the South Carolina State Trauma Care Fund. The Trauma Care Fund surcharge must not be used by the Department of Health and Environmental Control for the payment of the department's administrative or operating expenses or for any purpose other than providing financial aid to participating trauma care providers and grants related to trauma care in this State. The Trauma Care Fund surcharge is not subject to the provisions of Section 44-61-520(G)."

SECTION      4.      Section 56-1-720 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

     "Section 56-1-720.      There is established a point system for the evaluation of the operating record of persons to whom a license to operate motor vehicles has been granted and for the determination of the continuing qualifications of these persons for the privileges granted by the license to operate motor vehicles. The system shall have as its basic element a graduated scale of points assigning relative values to the various violations in accordance with the following schedule:
     VIOLATION            POINTS
     Reckless driving            6
     Passing stopped school bus            6
     Hit-and-run, property damages only            6
     Driving too fast for conditions, or speeding:
           (1)      No more than 10 m.p.h. above the
           posted limits            2
           (2)      More than 10 m.p.h. but less than
           25 m.p.h. above the posted limits            4
           (3)      25 m.p.h. or above the posted limits            6
     Disobedience of any official traffic
     control device            4
     Disobedience to officer directing traffic            4
     Failing to yield right of way            4
     Driving on wrong side of road            4
     Passing unlawfully            4
     Turning unlawfully            4
     Driving through or within safety zone            4
     Failing to give signal or giving improper      
     signal for stopping, turning, or suddenly
     decreased speed            4
     Shifting lanes without safety precaution            2
     Improper dangerous parking            2
     Following too closely            4
     Failing to dim lights            2
     Operating with improper lights            2
     Operating with improper brakes            4
     Operating a vehicle in unsafe condition            2
     Driving in improper lane            2
     Improper backing            2
     Distracted driving            2."

SECTION      5.      This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor. /

Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.