Gosch switches gears, proposes statewide ban on texting - KOTA Territory News

Gosch switches gears, proposes statewide ban on texting while driving

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Should South Dakota have a texting ban; and if so, Should it be a primary or secondary offense? These were just a few topics debated at a House Judiciary Committee meeting Wednesday morning in Pierre.

Last week, House Speaker Brian Gosch introduced a bill that would essentially prevent local municipalities from creating and enforcing their own texting bans. Gosch says it's already illegal, even though opponents, like Rapid City Police Chief Steve Allender, argue that it is allowed, and say Gosch is interpreting the statute incorrectly.

Making the hearing even more controversial was a last minute amendment to the bill that would establish a state-wide texting ban, punishable only as a secondary offense.
 
During the hearing, Allender called it a 'hog-house' bill, meant to give the original bill new life while still taking away local control, but bringing in the absolute lowest penalty available. Allender says texting and driving needs to be a primary offense.
 
The House Judiciary Committee did not vote on the bill Wednesday due to the last minute amendment.  They'll take up the issue on Monday.

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