Rapid City texting ban scheduled for first reading - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City texting ban scheduled for first reading

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Rapid City's police chief has introduced a city-wide texting ban, making texting while driving a primary offense.   

The first reading of the new ordinance is scheduled for Monday night in front of the city council. If it passes, it could be law as soon as the second week of May. That's about six weeks before the state-wide texting ban will take effect.

RCPD Chief Steve Allender said the Police Department will use that time to conduct a public awareness campaign by stopping cars that are in violation of the law but officers will issue warning tickets only.

"We're not approaching this as a heavy-handed enforcement campaign but one of a public awareness campaign," said Allender.

Allender said the ordinance is simply a way to put some teeth behind the legislature's attempt at curbing texting while driving.   

"Well, we got what we wished for but it wasn't anything like what we needed, and so now we're back here trying to make the best out of a bad situation," said Allender. 

The statewide law takes effect July 1st. It makes texting while driving a secondary offense. People pulled over for other traffic infractions can be charged an additional $100 if they were also texting.

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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

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