Sioux Falls texting ban raises questions of enforcement - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls texting ban raises questions of enforcement

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It seems like we've been talking about it all summer but now that Sioux Falls' ban on texting and driving has passed, the police are wondering how to enforce it.

And police admit there may be some challenges in determining exactly what you're doing with your phone behind the wheel of your car.

The passing of the texting while driving ban has raised concerns on how it will be enforced, both by the public and by the police. but many also say it's an issue of public safety.

Some people say the passing of the city's texting ban is a good thing. Chris Dummermuth said it's just a matter of safety.

"I attended the meeting on quite a different matter but I was glad I was there to listen to the texting issues, one of the things that hit home for me was one of the gentleman said 'you don't take you driver's test while texting,'" Dummermuth said.

Many people have questions about what you can and can not do under the city's texting and driving ban, but police say it all comes down to careless driving.

Sam Clemens, Sioux Falls Police, said "if you're taking you're eyes of the road and you have erratic driving, a person could be stopped for that and ticketed regardless if the officer was able to determine if they were using a cell phone or electronic device."

The ordinance is so new, police have yet to have a chance to figure how officers will be trained to enforce it.

"Any time we have new ordinances that come out, we'll have somebody from the city attorney's office, that will look at the ordinance and give recommendations on how to handle things and how to proceed so that will be coming in the next twenty days or so," Clemens said.

Assistant City Attorney Keith Allenstein consulted with city council on the ordinance and he says you can still use your phone, as a phone.

"The only thing that is prohibited is reading, composing or sending electronic messages," Allenstein said.

South Dakota State Representative Jim Bolin supported a statewide ban against texting and driving during the last legislative session. Wednesday, he said he is pleased the ordinance passed in Sioux Falls and he hopes it will encourage the state legislature to move forward with a measure that he calls common sense.

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