KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Police Find Texting Law Difficult To Enforce

Bookmark and Share

It's been nine months since the texting while driving ban went into effect in Sioux Falls. Since then, police have written only 19 tickets. The most recent one was handed out when our KDLT News crew was along for the ride.

Officer Greg Slaven with the Sioux Falls Police Department said, "It's called prohibited use of electronic messaging or using technology while you're driving."

It just so happens, while we were riding with Officer Slaven, he noticed someone on their phone in the car next to ours. The driver wasn't sending a text message, but was surfing the Web.

"I know you didn't see me. I was sitting right next to you and you were sitting there sending messages," said Officer Slaven to the motorist. The unidentified driver said, "I was checking my Facebook." Slaven replied, "Ok, yeah, that's against the law."

But Slaven says it's not always this easy to catch. Ever since it became illegal to text, use the internet, and read or send an email or message while driving, it's become more difficult to enforce.

Slaven said, "Before it became a law, we used to enforce it as careless driving and we were able to write those fairly easily because nobody thought it was against the law to be distracted while they were driving."

Now, when people see a cop in Sioux Falls, they take notice.

"A lot of people have their phone down here, if they're going to text, they'll do it down here so you can't see what they're doing," said Slaven.

However, that doesn't stop officers from writing a ticket. Slaven says he doesn't even need to look at your phone to prove you're breaking the law. If a person is on their phone longer than what it takes to make a call, they're most likely doing something they shouldn't.

Slaven said, "I have to be able to articulate, yes, they had the phone in their hand, yes, it looked like they were texting while they were driving.""I can write them a ticket, if they want to dispute it. I can take them to court."

Even though the law in Sioux Falls doesn't restrict people from making a phone call or using a navigation system while driving, it doesn't mean a ticket can't be issued for that as well. If using a phone is causing someone to make mistakes while driving, it will cost them even more.

"Careless is $120 and texting is $95," said Slaven.

Even though police may not always catch it, when they do, they will send you on your way with an expensive lesson.

The Legislature has rejected proposals to ban texting while driving statewide. But along with Sioux Falls,
Brookings, Watertown, Vermillion, Huron and Mitchell have passed ordinances to impose local bans.

So far, police haven't issued any tickets in Vermillion or Huron but have given out several warnings. Police in Watertown have issued only one ticket and one warning. It's unknown if Mitchell or Brookings have issued any tickets.
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >

BackPack Program To Feed Record Amount  story with video

The number of stomachs one South Dakota food assistance program has been ...

Obama Authorizes Federal Disaster Aid For SD

President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration for South Dakota ...

1st Revenue Estimate Puts SD State Budget In Black

Two agencies say state government is expected to end the new fiscal year in the black. ...

SF Road Construction Season In Full Swing  story with video  Jul. 28

Grain Elevators Looking For More Trains  story with video  Jul. 28

Police Release SF Robbery Suspect Pictures  Jul. 28

Man Reported Fake Robbery At SD Verizon Store  Jul. 28

SBA Disaster Centers Closing In 3 SD Cities  Jul. 28

Education Students In SD Get State Scholarship  Jul. 28

No More Handshakes  story with video  Jul. 28

Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar For $8.5 billion  Jul. 28

Court Upholds SD Man's Murder Sentence  Jul. 28

CO Man Dies In Meade County Accident  Jul. 28

Aurora Woman Killed In Idaho Accident  Jul. 28

Iowa Town Bracing For Closure Of Tyson Foods Plant  Jul. 28

Grain Storage Space A Problem In Parts Of SD  Jul. 28

SD Statehood Project Uses Soil From Each County  Jul. 28

Tornado-Stricken Nebraska Town Gets Some Iowa Help  Jul. 28

Officials Urge Crackdown On Tax Evaders At Rally  Jul. 28

Tribal Group Asking For Hearing On Water Rights  Jul. 28

KDLT News Archive

Police Release SF Robbery Suspect Pictures

Sioux Falls Police have released surveillance pictures ...

CO Man Dies In Meade County Accident

A Colorado man died in a one-vehicle crash on the New ...

No More Handshakes  story with video

(NBC News) Our society dictates that when meeting someone new the polite ...

Court Upholds SD Man's Murder Sentence  Jul. 28

Aurora Woman Killed In Idaho Accident  Jul. 28

Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar For $8.5 billion  Jul. 28

BackPack Program To Feed Record Amount  story with video  Jul. 28

Iowa Town Bracing For Closure Of Tyson Foods Plant  Jul. 28

KDLT News Archive

Madison and Tabor advance to "B" Championship  story with video

Tabor won a thriller over Groton 6-5 to advance to Tuesday's State "B" Legion ...

Hejna jumps into college football at SDSU  story with video

Considering his first name it's appropriate that Yankton's J. J. ...

Vikings Sign Rudolph To Extension  story with video

Mankato, MN (July 27, 2014) – The Minnesota Vikings have announced ...

Birds Blow Chance For Sweep  story with video  Jul. 27

Madison Rolls Past Groton At Legion State B  story with video  Jul. 27

Champions Crowned At Asfora/Clayton Tournament  story with video  Jul. 27

Veteran Greenway Leader On Vikings Defense  story with video  Jul. 27

Canaries Make It Two In A Row Against X's  story with video  Jul. 26

KDLT Sports Stories
Back To Top