Bill to quash local texting bans sparks debate - KOTA Territory News

Bill to quash local texting bans sparks debate between Police Chief and lawmaker


Rapid City's Chief of Police calls a South Dakota House Bill that would quash local texting bans "dumb."
Steve Allender said Friday that HB1177 puts South Dakotans at risk, takes away local control and is not needed.

The bill was introduced by Representative Brian Gosch of Rapid City. He said it's a policy discussion that's aimed at making the rules of the road are the same for everyone, visitors and locals alike. Gosch said his bill simply clarifies existing law.

Unfortunately, he said the issue is being confused with the emotions tied to a texting ban law.

Allender contends that Gosch's bill is an excuse because he doesn't want a texting ban.
"And so, what I don't like about it is it takes away local control.   And, I don't know why that is necessary.   The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Gosch, states that this law is needed for uniformity of traffic regulations.   There's already a law that covers uniformity, so this is not needed," said Allender.

Gosch said he is willing to consider a texting ban if the law is written suitably. But, he is not willing to engage in mudslinging with the Chief of Police.

HB1177 is set for a hearing on Wednesday.

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Rapid City, SD 57701

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Fax: 605.342.7305

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