Huron Law To Stop Distracted Driving
by Joel Young, Meteorologist/Reporter
December 04, 2012 6:00 PM
It’s been a little over two months since the texting and driving ban went into effect for Sioux Falls, and ever since then; surrounding cities have been considering making the same move.
As of Tuesday night, Huron officially joined Sioux Falls in cracking down on the dangerous habit. This law, however, takes Sioux Falls’ law a step farther.
The people of Huron know all too well just how dangerous texting and driving can be.
“We did have a person killed due to a distracted driving crash on Highway 14 out at West Park, so we’ve had fatalities involving texting and driving. We’ve had injury crashes involving various distractions,” says Huron Police Chief, Gary Will.
Tuesday night, an ordinance was approved by the city council very similar to the one in Sioux Falls.
“Texting is banned. Period. It’s a primary violation and if we see someone texting, we can stop them just for that,” says Will.
But we’re not talking about just texting and driving. This has to do with anything that may distract you while you’re behind the wheel; whether you’re eating lunch, reading the newspaper, or even just putting on your make-up in the mirror.
Due to other accidents of that similar nature, city council members felt that the law needed to take all distractions into consideration.
“We had a person driving along eating a pizza. He ran through the stop sign and ran over a 12 year-old on a bicycle and he didn’t know he had hit anyone. He dragged the bike 64 feet before he stopped,” says Will.
Beginning sometime around New Years, if a driver is distracted to the point that it causes him or her to break another traffic law, they will be fined $15.
If anyone is caught texting and driving, they will be fined $100.
It's a law that many drivers in Huron are finding it difficult to adjust to, especially those with children in the back seat.
“I’ll probably keep an older cousin in the car so she can help out with the kids,” says Lady Shaimary Hooks of Huron.
“I think I’m really cautious, but I understand a lot of people aren’t. I don’t believe that we should make a law to do such a thing, but I understand it will help eliminate such people from doing it,” says Tyrell Larson of Huron.
Despite the inconveniences it may impose on those who drive within the city limits of Huron, one thing is for certain. This is a law that city leaders hope will make the streets safer for everyone.
In addition to the fines, Huron city officials say violators will also be required to pay any court costs associated with the violation.