In wake of a fatal texting and driving related accident in Sioux Falls, law enforcement officers say a ban on texting and driving is more important than ever.
A proposed ban has been shot down in the legislature on at least two previous tries, but this time around, it may have a fighting chance.
Police officers often develop a niche while on the job.
And after 17 years with the Rapid City police department, Lieutenant James Johns knows his passion is traffic safety.
"The fact is your sister or brother could be driving...someone texting could crash into them. Once you're in a crash, your life changes," said Lt. Johns.
Earlier this year, Johns gave testimony in the South Dakota legislature in support of a bill banning texting while driving.
"Most people aren't out on the street seeing the carnage and damage done to people's lives by this. Anything we can get on the books to help people focus on their driving, we should do," said Lt. Johns.
But Johns words haven't had the impact needed to influence lawmakers in the past.
"Frankly, some legislators engage in that activity and aren't excited about prohibiting it," said State Senator Craig Tieszen, sponsor of two previous texting bills.
Tieszen says the argument usually comes down to maintaining basic freedoms.
"I think it would be hard to implement South Dakota because we do like our freedom in every way," said Allisa Miles of Rapid City.
"Various studies show that 90% of people support a ban. The point is, we have our freedom, but when the freedom starts to inhibit the safety of other people... That's why we have laws," said Teiszen.
Johns says accidents like the one in Sioux Falls that involved speeding and texting continue to make it a relevant issue.
"The tragic crash in Sioux Falls will just bring more light unto the problem. People will stand up and say, 'Enough is enough, let's get a ban on texting'," said Lt. Johns
"It's just a matter of going after the worst distraction. Talking on the phone increases your accident rate 3x, texting increases it 23x," said Teiszen.
Approximately 40 states have a texting ban in affect.
Senator Tieszen says under his proposed bill, texting while driving would be punished in the same way as any other traffic violation.