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Huron Police Chief Expects Results With Texting Ban

June 25, 2014, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Huron Police Chief Expects Results With Texting Ban
HURON, SD -

South Dakota’s statewide texting-while-driving ban takes effect in less than a week. It'll go alongside several texting bans already in place in larger South Dakota cities.

Texting behind the wheel will already earn you a fine in Huron. It's been that way for a year and a half. Some people break that law but Huron Police Chief Gary Will hopes to see that change.

"We do expect to see some reduction just because people will comply with the law now that it applies to them everywhere they live," Will said.

Will expects the statewide ban to raise awareness so people won't unknowingly break the law in Huron or any other city with a ban already in place. He also hopes people will start breaking the habit of texting and driving regardless of where they go.

Myrna Lakner lives in a small town northwest of Huron and says that could take some time.

"I don't think there'll be a lot of compliance initially," Lakner said. "I don't really think it'll take full effect until they start to have the repercussions that occur being caught texting while you drive."

Regardless of the level of compliance, Sen. Jim White, (R) Huron, says the texting law statewide seems to be something wanted by many in South Dakota. White has been involved in texting ban discussions over the past few years.

"Each year it became more of an important issue wherever we stopped in the state or especially in our district," White said.

Now people in his district and everywhere else in the state can see if the law brings results as it sits alongside city laws already in place.

Will came to South Dakota from Oregon and says he observed positive results from a texting ban in that state. Oregon also bans cell phones behind the wheel so he says it's hard to make a direct comparison.

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