Watertown Texting Ban In Effect
by Ashley Kringen, Reporter
January 11, 2013 8:10 PM
It’s official; Watertown is the 4th city in South Dakota to put a texting and driving ban into effect.
Sioux Falls was the first city to enforce the ban, followed by Brookings and Huron.
"We're going to do our best to enforce it and keep an eye out for the people who are out there, making sure they're following and abiding by the new ordinance," said Lee McPeek, Assistant Police Chief in Watertown.
Across the street from the Watertown Police Department is Active Heating, a company that specializes in repair and installation of heating and air conditioning units.
Thad Jacobson, one of their employees, said they're constantly on the road responding to clients while at the same time getting customer calls.
"I normally keep it in my pocket, so it's hard to get it out, that's what I always do," said Jacobson.
Jacobson said if you text behind the wheel, a moment could change everything.
"Looking down, all it takes is a second and someone's out in front of you, either a kid or another vehicle," said Jacobson.
Just a couple fears he has while on the road in his personal life, with his three-year-old and seven-month-old.
"If I'm driving down the road and someone hit me and killed my two kids, I don't know how I'd live that one down," said Jacobson.
Now that the new texting ban is in place, both Jacobson and McPeek said abiding by the law and keeping phones out of reach will help keep drivers safe on the road.
"If it's going to save a life, than it's worth it," said Jacobson.
"Keep you're phone in your pocket, if you get a text while you're driving, wait until you get where you need to go to look and see what it says. Pull off the side of the road check it, maybe reply back and get back on the roadway," said McPeek.
Texting and driving tickets are $200.00, a big price to pay for something that could have been prevented.
The ordinance also bans emailing, instant messaging and using social media sites.