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Lawmakers Could Soon Discuss Texting While Driving Ban

January 23, 2014, 7:22 AM by Stephanie Gregory

Lawmakers Could Soon Discuss Texting While Driving Ban

Twice already, a statewide texting while driving ban has passed through the Senate, but failed in house committees.

Supporters of the bill say it is a public safety issue, while opponents say it is a personal issue and the previously-drafted bills are not elastic enough to cover the ever changing digital world.

Chad Vanzanten, a senior at Tri-Valley, says texting and driving isn't unusual among kids his age.

"I know a lot of my friends text and drive," Vanzanten said.

He says his peers have cell phones with them at all times and sometimes that can be a distraction, which can turn into a deadly decision.

"What is bigger and can kill you faster? Your car and not your phone," Vanzanten said.

That is why Representative Jim Bolin of District 16 says he wants to see another statewide texting and driving ban hit Pierre this session.

In last year's legislative session, Bolin drew support for the bill that would make it against the law to pick up your phone and press send while driving. He says it is more than just a distracted driving issue. It’s also a safety issue.

"There have been people who have lost control of their vehicles and as a result of that there have been fatalities because of texting while driving," Bolin said.

That is why in Pierre this year Bolin says he will support yet another proposed texting while driving bill.

"We'll have to wait and see. We'll work on it and we will have to see what takes place," Bolin said.

Senator Mike Vehle of Mitchell says he is still working on details of the bill, which will be introduced soon in the South Dakota Legislature soon.

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