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February 19, 2013 04:44 PM

Ban On Texting While Driving Passes SD Senate

pierre, sd

The South Dakota Senate has passed a measure that would ban texting while driving.

Senators voted 24-9 to approve the bill and send it to the House, which has rejected similar bills in recent years.

Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia already ban texting behind the wheel.

The bill would prohibit typing, sending or reading a text message while driving, but it would continue to allow drivers to make cellphone calls and use hands-free electronic devices.

The bill's main sponsor, Sen. Mike Vehle of Mitchell, says a texting ban might be difficult to enforce, but a law would stop most people from texting while driving simply because it would be illegal.

Opponents say there's no need to ban texting because existing law already outlaws careless driving.

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