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Drivers Discuss Texting While Driving Ban

March 11, 2014, 10:04 PM by Don Jorgensen

Drivers Discuss Texting While Driving Ban

A statewide texting while driving ban may have to wait til next year.  South Dakota lawmakers are at odds over two bills.

The Senate's version would make it a primary offense and violators could face up to a $500 fine. The House bill makes it a secondary offense and only a $25 fine.

Even though several cities, like Sioux Falls, already have a ban on texting and driving, you still see people doing it. 

"I don't think it's safe to text and drive, but I think that as a person, you should know that," Jessica Peterson said.

While lawmakers couldn't find common ground on a bill, some drivers we talked with oppose a statewide ban, especially the Senate's version imposing up to a $500 fine.

"That's a very big fine, $500 for texting when there's Pandora and everything else you could be scrolling through your phone and looking at," Peterson said.

"I believe texting and driving is dangerous, but I don't believe a $500 fine.  That's a lot; especially if you have kids and bills," Krista Kruckenberg said.

The House's version would have made texting and driving a petty offense with a $25 fine.  But some lawmakers think that doesn't do enough to discourage texting behind the wheel.  Some drivers agree.

"I believe the $25 fine is a slap on the wrist, but a $500 fine is over the edge," Alicia Kelderman said.

"I think maybe like a seat belt fine, like $25 or $50, but $500.  That's outrageous," Peterson said.

Right now, eight cities and counties have passed their own bans.


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