Camden, SC (WLTX) - Texting while driving is no longer an option for motorists inside the city limits of Camden, but there are exceptions.
There had to be a first offender, and for Mike Essic, it was his unlucky day. "I was just driving down the road looking down at my phone."
Camden police said Essic was the first person under the new texting while driving can to be pulled over.
"I hope she doesn't write me that ticket," Essic said.
According to the ordinance passed on March 23, "It is now unlawful for a driver in a motor vehicle in motion to text message, read text messages, read printed materials, or email."
The ordinance says that drivers are allowed to send text messages when their car is parked or stopped at a red light. GPS devices are allowed under the ban, unless you are programming it while you are in motion.
"We want to stop them and educate them, let them know what they can and cannot do, when they can and cannot text," said Sgt. Pamela Moore with the Camden Police Department. Moore said she hopes the ordinance cuts down on the number of automobile accidents she sees every year.
"It's going to be essential to keeping everybody safe out here on the roads in Camden," Moore said. Camden Police are not issuing citations, only warnings, until they feel the public is aware of the problem.
When the time comes, a texting while driving ticket could run a violator upwards of $250, something Mike Essic says he hopes to avoid.
"No, I don't think I'll be holding my phone in my hand in the city of Camden anymore," said Essic.