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SD Sen. Will Introduce Texting And Driving Legislation

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Throughout the past few years, the South Dakota Legislature has repeatedly voted not to ban texting and driving. And, this year, the issue will be in front of lawmakers once again. But one Senator thinks this is the year that we could see the bill pass.

First it was Sioux Falls, then Brookings, Huron, and most recently, Watertown. All cities in South Dakota that have banned texting and driving. All reasons why State Sen. Mike Vehle of Mitchell says we should try to enforce the ban state-wide.

Sen. Vehle said, "It would supercede those and the reason is I feel you don't want to have a patchwork of various laws throughout the state."

And this year, he says he will be the one introducing such a bill in the legislature, a bill similar to the law in Sioux Falls. It won't be an easy task, but Senator Vehle says the fact that some cities are behind it might give a little push to those lawmakers who were undecided in the past and a big push to cities like Mitchell that don't want to do it themselves.
Sen. Vehle said, "Mitchell looked at doing it and they said we're going to put it off and see if the legislature does it this time because there's a rumor that Sen. Vehle was going to introduce a bill on texting and so they pretty much wanted to do it, but they're feeling was that this is something that's statewide."

Vehle says he truely believes that most people think it's a good thing, so why not make it a law? For him, the logic is simple math.

Sen. Vehle said, "If we start that culture, if we get kids growing up realizing that you don't text when behind the wheel then we will have accomplished what we need to accomplish."

Watertown's texting and driving ordinance doesn't go into effect until January 11th. All four of the towns in South Dakota that have banned texting and driving have different variations of what is legal regarding what type of electronics you can use and when you can use them.

The legislative session begins Tuesday.
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