Other U.S. cities have passed a texting and driving ban - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Other U.S. cities have passed a texting and driving ban

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Sioux Falls is not the first city to propose it's own ban on texting and driving.

Other cities across the country already have passed local laws against texting and driving. in Ohio -- almost a dozen cities and towns have their own texting bans in place.

Toledo, Ohio has been down this road before -- with some of the same concerns people in Sioux Falls have about making texting and driving illegal.

Joe McNamara, Toledo City Council President: "there were concerns about enforcement and how the police were going to enforce this issue, but overall I think most people understand that it is a dangerous thing to do."

And even though mcnamara admits it may be hard to tell the difference between talking and texting -- the law may have a side effect.

"The thought is, at least from my perspective, is that it's illegal, it's on the books, people are now aware that they shouldn't be doing it while they're driving," McNamara said.

After many cities in Ohio enacted their own bans, the state passed its own law.

"A law giving guidance that citizens shouldn't do it is a good thing and actually the state of Ohio followed suit and established a law banning a statewide texting and driving ban," McNamara said.

Starting at the local level might influence the state in Ohio but South Dakota state representative Jim Bolin (R) says our state is different.

"part of the DNA of South Dakota is a lot of a great emphasis on individual rights and there's a strong libertarian streak there and I don't totally want to ignore that," Bolin said.

Bolin was a major supporter of a bill during the last legislative session that would have banned texting and driving statewide.  But Bolin says public safety trumps any extra intrusion of government.

"We have to be very careful as far as the expansion of government power and government authority but at the same time, the overriding issue is public safety," Bolin said.

With Ohio enacting it's law this past weekend, thirty-nine states now have a texting ban.

Five states have a partial ban, while six states, Arizona; Florida; Hawaii; Montana; South Carolina; and South Dakota, have none.

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