For now, warnings for texting-behind-the-wheel violators; $100 t - KOTA Territory News

For now, warnings for texting-behind-the-wheel violators; $100 tickets coming soon

Almost three dozen people caught a break from the Rapid City police this last month…a warning rather than an expensive ticket for texting and driving.  That deal ends soon as police get ready for a crackdown.

For the first month of the city texting and driving ban, police issued 32 written warnings according to police Captain Dan Rud. Captain Rud says that "texts can wait" and adds that the purpose of the law and the police department's efforts is to try to change drivers' behavior of not automatically reaching for their phones when receiving texts.

The police could have already issued $100 citations for the violations, but the city decided to run an education campaign before levying that hefty fine.

The city will switch from warnings to tickets July 1, the same day that the statewide texting and driving ban goes into effect.

The difference between the state and city bans is that in Rapid City, texting behind the wheel is a primary offense.  Police can pull over multi-taskers just for that offense.  The state law allows police to ticket an offender only if they are pulled over for something else.

In either case, expect to fork over that $100 if you are caught texting and driving the first of next month.

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Rapid City, SD 57701

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Fax: 605.342.7305

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