South Dakota ban on phone use while driving starts July 1

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Drivers in South Dakota who use their cellphones can be pulled over and ticketed purely for that offense starting Wednesday.

A new state law taking effect July 1 makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to use a cellphone while driving except in an emergency or to use a GPS app or to read or enter a phone number. Drivers who talk on the phone will need to either use a hands-free mode or hold the phone up to their ear.

Texting and driving already was a secondary offense in South Dakota, meaning a driver had to be pulled over for another reason to be ticketed. But the Argus Leader reports the new law makes it a primary offense, meaning drivers can be pulled over for only using a cellphone.