Brookings Talks Texting & Driving Ban
by Ashley Kringen, Reporter
October 11, 2012 9:21 PM
It has been almost two weeks since the texting while driving ban took affect in Sioux Falls.
Mitchell decided to wait and now Brookings has talked about a citywide ban.
During a recent city council meeting, the council voted six-to-one to move forward with discussions on implementing a ban.
While the ban would promote safety for drivers, there are concerns about how police are going to enforce it, similar to what Sioux Falls officials are experiencing now.
"It's always fun to have something a little spicy to talk about at the Brookings City Council meetings," said Thorpe.
Spicy or not, City Councilor Jael Thorpe, said talking about texting while driving is a timely topic however, she was the only council member to vote no to continuing the conversation.
"I'm a little bit concerned about the confusions for drivers," said Thorpe.
Along with the confusion for police trying to enforce a ban.
"At what point do we stop, do we ban GPS units, do we ban iPods, eating in the car. There are so many things that really could distract a driver," said Thorpe.
For her council mate, John Kubal, he disagreed and said this is an issue that needs to be addressed now.
"I think there's enough evidence out there that distracted driving, be it texting, talking on a cell, it's a hazard," said Kubal.
He said there are ways to eliminate any gray areas when it comes to police enforcement.
"I could certainly live with this being handheld devices of any sort, holding a phone to you're ear and speaking and certainly texting while you're driving," said Kubal.
However, the two council members do have something in common on this issue.
They both agree that if the state legislature were to take action towards a more uniformed statewide ban, positive changes would follow.
"I definitely think that would be far more effect and enforceable than a city ban," said Thorpe.
Mayor of Brookings, Tim Reed, said he’s on the fence about this ban right now on this ban because of the issue of enforcement, but he said he's looking forward to the discussions in the near future.
The Brookings city council will meet on November 20th to talk more about this ban and law enforcement will be there too.