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Bills Address Distracted Teenage Drivers

January 24, 2013, 5:46 AM by Kellee Azar

Bills Address Distracted Teenage Drivers

No matter your age, any time you get behind the wheel and get distracted, you are putting yourself and others at risk. The leading cause of death among teenage drivers is car crashes. That's why the South Dakota Legislature is taking on some key issues to help keep kids safe behind the wheel.  The first issue addressed: texting and driving.

"I think it's a good idea.  Any time there would be a bill to help strengthen the laws for the teens would be good. I'm not sure it would be easy to enforce and quite honestly I'm not sure the kids would follow it," driving education instructor Doug Basche said.

Some police officers, however, say it being against the law could be enough to detour drivers.

"Anything that can be done to limit the distracted driving is really going to help reduce accidents.  Ultimately that will save people from possibly being injured or being killed," Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens said

But neither police nor driving instructors think it will be a "fix all" just like a stop sign or speed limits.

"I think it's really no different than we have laws against running a stop sign and running a light or even speeding.  We still have people that do those and continue to do them.  But I think it's important to realize the vast majority of people are going to obey the laws that are out there," Clemens said.

As a driving instructor Basche, sees many young students behind the wheel and says their distraction comes down to one thing.

"I think part of the problem is they just lack the experience to handle the distraction of their phone, someone in the back seat.  It doesn't take much," Basche said

South Dakota Legislature will take a look Senate Bill 106 along with two others regarding teen drivers and keeping them from being distracted.

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