Sioux Falls City Council Passes Texting and Driving Ban
The Sioux Falls City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday night and passed a texting and driving ban. Beginning at the end of September you could be looking at up to a $200 fine and 30 days in jail if you are spotted by law enforcement or cause an accident while using your phone to text while behind the wheel. You will be able to dispute to the citation by getting a copy of your phone records and proving you weren't violating the ban.
South Dakota is one of eleven states that does not have a statewide texting while driving ban.
There was standing room only at Carnegie Hall and the public was invited to voice their opinions on the matter. The official wording of the ordinance now reads:
"No person may operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while using a handheld electronic communication device to compose, read, or send an electronic message when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic."
Some safety officials from around the country are now encouraging young motorists to have a "designated texter", someone who takes care of the driver's texting duties while on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started a new "Stop the Texts/Stop the Wrecks" campaign, urging teenagers to: "Borrow thumbs from a friend or lend yours to a friend. Passengers get the privilege of texting while in motion".
It's no secret that using a hand held device to send messages while driving is a danger on the road. If you text and take your eyes off the road at highway speed for only 4 seconds, you will travel the length of a football field.
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Dan Collins (edited and updated Wednesday 6:05am 9/5/12)