Sioux Falls texting while driving ban takes effect Friday - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls texting while driving ban takes effect Friday

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This Friday marks the first official day the new texting while driving ban will take effect, affecting every single driver in Sioux Falls.

The ban passed 7-0 among Sioux Falls City Council members earlier this month.

The ordinance says it will be illegal for a driver to use certain handheld devices to compose, read or send a message while the car is a part of traffic.

It's a soon-to-be law that has several drivers on the fence.

"I think it's a good thing but I don't know how they're going to monitor it," Lorene Dickerson said.

Lorene Dickerson is one of them, saying these steps toward safer roads are good, but shouldn't stop here.

"I think if they're going to do it, do it all. People are still going to do it but they'll be sneakier about it. They're not going to have it up here, they'll have it down here. I really think they should ban the whole thing," Lorene Dickerson said.

Councilor Kermit Staggers was the only member to oppose the ban but was unable to vote due to a last-minute absence at the September 4th meeting. Still, he simply calls this a ''feel good'' law.

"This was an ordinance that, when it was passed, it was already obsolete in terms of technology," Councilor Kermit Staggers said. "People are going to feel really good about this. They feel like they'll be saving a lot of lives and so forth. But the reality is, that's not going to be the case at all."

Sioux Falls Police say the new law will be tough to enforce. But when it comes to getting ready for it, there's not a whole lot to do.

"We'll be looking for any drivers doing anything illegal, whether it's deviating from their lane, speeding, stop sign violation. This is simply one more thing we'll be looking for while officers are on patrol," Officer Sam Clemens said.

"I don't think it's the police department's job to babysit us. We need to be smart enough to be safe, respect the pedestrians and the other drivers," Dickerson said.

Sioux Falls Police say distracted driving is distracted driving and there has been a law in place against that kind of driving since the 1950s. The more focus a driver can put on the road, they say, they better all of us will be regardless of the new law taking effect.

For more information about the law, click on the following link: http://www.siouxfalls.org/council/texting-ban.aspx 

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