Sioux Falls considers texting-while-driving banSIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota's largest city is a step closer to banning texting while driving.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota's largest city is a step closer to banning texting while driving.
The Sioux Falls Public Services Committee on Tuesday endorsed a proposed distracted driving ordinance that would ban texting, emailing, tweeting and Facebook use while driving. It now goes to the City Council, which could address it in the next few weeks, according to the Argus Leader newspaper.
The push for a texting-while-driving ban in Sioux Falls was started earlier this year by a group called Citizens for Cell Phone Safety While Driving. The South Dakota Legislature has rejected proposed statewide bans in the last two years, but Sioux Falls' home rule charter allows it to pass measures not forbidden by state law.
"We want to lead the charge," City Councilwoman Sue Aguilar told the media. "We feel that this is an important issue, and we are willing to take the lead on this issue."
Some drivers, such as Tashia Ross, are skeptical about the usefulness of an ordinance.
"People are probably going to do it anyway, so I don't think it's that big of a deal," she told the media. "How's anybody going to know?"
If an ordinance is approved it would make texting while driving a primary offense, meaning police officers could stop a car and issue a ticket if they spotted someone texting while behind the wheel, according to the Argus Leader. A ban would not prohibit talking on a cell phone while driving, and it would include exceptions for texting, such as if a person's safety was in danger.
All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving in 39 states and Washington D.C., and five other states have bans in place for novice drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, a traffic safety advocacy group.