Four cities have already made it illegal and a bill in Pierre this year would have banned it statewide.
Senate Bill 142 would have made texting and driving a criminal offense across South Dakota. It had support from groups and leaders from across the state, but the House Judiciary Committee decided it wasn't the right time to hit send on this bill.
"On that day, so many lives were changed. For Jon, he lost his life, and I tore their family apart," Justin Iburg said.
Around three years ago, Iburg was approaching a construction site when he got a text. He says without thinking, he grabbed his phone to read it and ended up killing motorcyclist Jon Christensen.
"I didn't see it as breaking the law either. If this had been a law, I would have thought twice," Iburg said.
A total of 18 people testified in favor of making texting behind the wheel illegal. What may be more surprising is that not one person was there in opposition to the bill. The only ones speaking against it were the lawmakers themselves.
"I just think it’s missing the mark and I think that there’s other ways to influence our culture, to teach people that texting and driving is not socially accepted," Rep. Jon Hansen said.
One of the arguments against the bill is that it will be hard to enforce. Chief Lyndon Overweg with Mitchell Public Safety says the majority of people follow new laws the majority of the time.
"The law will be no harder to enforce than it is in North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming and 31 other state that have already enacted laws against texting and driving. And to my knowledge, none of them have repealed any of these laws once they've been enacted," Overweg said.
Representative Brian Gosch, from Rapid City, is the chair of the committee. He argued there were some things that the bill failed to cover like browsing the internet or Facebook. It failed with a vote of 8 to 5.