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Beaufort City Council approved the first reading Tuesday of an ordinance to prohibit texting by all drivers, and to impose a cellphone ban for those younger than 18.
The proposal will now face a second and final reading, said city manager Scott Dadson.
Final approval could come in early September, but City Council does not want to enforce a ban until city staff and the Beaufort Police Department develop a public-awareness campaign, city officials said.
The ban was proposed by Councilman George O'Kelley Jr.
Violators would face fines that start at $50 and increase to $150 for repeat offenses, according to the ordinance.
O'Kelley's proposal is based on a bill for a statewide ban that passed the S.C. House of Representatives but failed in the state Senate this year.
Six cities and towns in South Carolina have banned texting while driving.