With both the South Dakota House and the Senate recently passing bans against texting while driving, you'd think that means we'll soon have a new law. But Senator Craig Tieszen (R-District 30) says not so fast.
At Rapid City's third Legislative Crackerbarrel in 2014, held Saturday morning at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Tieszen told the packed room that more work needs to be done on the bills.
He says the legislation as it stands right now is mostly unenforceable and without penalty, which he says makes it hard for local law enforcement to do anything. "An enforcement program, along with the law, is necessary," said Tieszen. "And I think it's important that we have an enforceable law."
On the other side of the issue is Representative Lance Russell (R-District 30). Russell says he's worried about the way law enforcement will execute the ban.
He says he fears if police see anything in your hands, or perhaps a light in your car while it's dark out, that will give officers 'reasonable suspicion' to pull you over. "Do we want the government to have that authority to make those stops?" said Russell. "We're creating a whole new area of government intervention when they don't necessarily need that authority to do their jobs."
Russell says this is because officers can already pull people over for careless or wreckless driving.