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Statewide Texting Ban Bill Introduced In Pierre

Senate Transportation Committee Chair Mike Vehle of Mitchell introduced a bill yesterday that would ban texting while driving in the state.  Senate Bill 142 says no person can operate a motor vehicle on a highway while using a handheld electronic device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.  Vehle has introduced similar bills in past legislative sessions.  He says he is unsure of how much support his measure will have this time.  

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Vehle’s bill also prohibits cities enacting ordinances that vary from the state bill.  The bill also contains four exemptions – while a driver is parked, to obtain a telephone number, to contact an emergency response vehicle, and to use voice-operated or hands-free technology.  A violation of the ban would be a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a 500 dollar fine.  Huron, Brookings, Watertown and Sioux Falls all currently have city-wide texting bans.
Categories : Local News

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