OUR VIEW: SD needs to ban texting while drivingSome consider texting and driving more dangerous than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Can you imagine a lawmaker flat-out refusing to pass laws to keep drunken drivers off the street?
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Mitchell Mayor Ken Tracy has decided to hold back on his plan to ban texting and driving in Mitchell, and we’re OK with that.
Tracy said he will wait to see what happens at the coming session of the South Dakota Legislature, which convenes next month. It appears Republican Sen. Mike Vehle, of Mitchell, will introduce some type of legislation that addresses texting and driving, and Tracy plans to await the outcome.
Mitchell had been considering a citywide ban, and we think it’s still a legitimate direction to take. Other South Dakota cities have banned texting while driving, including Sioux Falls, Brookings, Watertown and Huron.
What we’re anxious to see is how some state lawmakers react to legislation that comes during the upcoming session. We do understand the potential problems with a ban — such as determining the difference between, say, simply dialing a phone number — but in our hearts we feel a ban is the right thing to do.
Some consider texting and driving more dangerous than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Can you imagine a lawmaker flat-out refusing to pass laws to keep drunken drivers off the street?
We can’t, but we are sure there will be a few who will dig their heels into the ground against a texting ban.
We suspect that years down the road, texting and driving will be outlawed everywhere.
It’s possible some lawmakers were against drunken-driving bans decades ago. History proves that anyone who was against such laws is a fool.
Mitchell has witnessed tragedy when it comes to texting and driving. Someone many of us knew has died because of this careless and nasty habit.
Unfortunately, someone else will die or be maimed before state lawmakers take this issue seriously. Why does it have to come to that?
If the Legislature doesn’t do something with texting-and-driving, we hope city leaders will begin anew with some sort of law that adds Mitchell to the growing list of cities that have taken matters into their own hands.