Panel sends distracted driving bill to South Dakota Senate

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a bill that would expand South Dakota’s texting while driving ban to mostly prohibit mobile device use by people behind the wheel.

The State Affairs Committee voted 6-3 Wednesday to advance the bill. Republican Rep. Doug Barthel, the sponsor, says there will likely be a lot of self-compliance if people know there’s a law with “some teeth in it.”

Drivers currently can’t text or email, but they must be pulled over for a different violation for it to be enforced.

The bill would increase the penalty for device use while driving and make it a primary offense, meaning motorists buried in their phones could be stopped for it.

Using a navigation app, making a telephone call or operating in hands-free mode, and using a device during an emergency would still be allowed.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News