RCPD warns: texting while driving ban begins Friday - KOTA Territory News

RCPD warns: texting while driving ban begins Friday

Starting Friday the Rapid City Police Department will begin enforcing its city-wide texting while driving ban. But officers are not rushing to hand out citations just yet. For now, they will simply issue warnings and information pamphlets.

Senior Patrol Officer Robin Black and other officers will be on the lookout for inattentive, distracted drivers.

"I mean people weaving or going out of their lane or stopped at a stop sign for a long time," said Black.

Rapid City Police Chief Steve Allender said changing the mindset of drivers can take time.

"Texting and driving is a cultural issue, it's not necessarily simply a behavioral issue," said Allender. "And trying to change a culture is a huge undertaking."
Law enforcement is attempting to change the culture with a six week public awareness campaign.

"We're going to spend the next six weeks trying to get a brochure in the hand of every driver texting," said Allender.
Officers will give out informational pamphlets and warnings to drivers they pull over. The department also has a public service announcement playing on television right now. "Our tag line is, 'that text can wait' and it truly can," said Allender.

Dialing a number and talking on the phone is legal. The ban is on text based communication like texting, tweeting or Facebook messaging while driving.

The department expects to begin issuing citations on July 1st when the state-wide ban goes into effect. The fine:$100. 
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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

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