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Teens React To New Driver Phone Use Ban



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Many teens spent the day cheering on their favorite teams at the state tournaments on Thursday, but there's one thing they weren't cheering for - a proposed phone use ban for new drivers.

“I think talking on your phone isn’t much worse than eating while driving or talking to a friend that's in the car with you," said teen driver, Evy Johnson. 

Johnson is one of many teen drivers that would be affected by the proposed ban passed by the South Dakota Legislature on Wednesday by a vote of 23 to 10. 

If passed, the measure would ban young drivers from using any electronic devices until they get their unrestricted licenses at age 16.

“I think if it does pass its not the end of the world, I think something maybe more of a compromise would be better, like having to use blue tooth or headphones so you're hands free," said Johnson.

Other teens say that even if the ban does become law, they don't believe it will have much of an effect on the way new drivers act behind the wheel.

“Most of the time people only have one hand on the steering wheel anyway and nothing to do with the other hand so it's not really going to matter if they are on their phone or not,” said 15-year old Shaun Maher. 

Now that the measure has passed both the House and the Senate, it is left in the hands of Governor Dennis Daugaard, who will decide if the measure will become law. 

The House added language to the bill that says a police officer cannot stop a young driver just for driving while using a cell phone. Police could issue a ticket for driving while using a cell phone only after stopping a young driver for some other traffic violation.

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