Legislator hopes Sioux Falls texting ordinance leads to statewide ban
A major proponent of a state ban on texting while driving says he hopes the Sioux Falls ordinance encourages legislators to support a statutory ban.
Republican Rep. Jim Bolin, of Canton, is one of the major proponents of a statewide ban—which failed in the legislative session the past two years. Bolin said as an outside observer he was hoping Sioux Falls' ordinance would be approved.
"I was pleased that this passed and I hope it will be encouragement for the state legislature to move forward with what I believe is a common sense measure to protect public safety on the highways," Bolin said.
The ability to enforce the ordinance has stirred controversy among the public. Kevin Maiers posted on KSFY's Facebook page, "What's next? Radios? CDs? GPS systems? Passengers? Kids? Babies? Drive throughs? Where does it end? EVERYTHING can be a distraction, not to mention that a distracted driving is already on the books."
Bolin said actions like those can be distracting, but texting and driving is the worst distraction.
"This is clearly one of the most egregious forms of distracted driving," Bolin said. "I don't think we should wait for a perfect bill before we pass a good bill."
As for bringing forth a proposal at the 2013 Legislative session, Bolin says the issue is up to the voters. He said it basically comes down to who is elected and where they stand on the issue.
"If the voters elect people who put a higher priority on public safety than individual rights, this ban on texting can go statewide."