Sioux Falls man pitched texting while driving ban for city - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls man pitched texting while driving ban for city

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One Sioux Falls man had an idea for the city that will change our behavior behind the wheel.

He's shown it's possible anyone can make a difference if you get involved.

KSFY News spoke with the man behind the texting ban.

He feels proud of the city for passing the ordinance.

As for people driving out on the street, he says texting while driving is a threat to our safety, but believes most people will obey the law.

Like everything else, maybe not 100 percent but he hopes it will make driving in the city safer.

Friday, September 28th, 2012 is a day Rich Lauer can be proud of.

Lauer said "this project had momentum from the first meeting with the city councilors. It had support from the mayor's office and from the police and our legal department. And so here we are at four to five months later and we put it on the books and it will benefit all of us."

It all started when Lauer approached Sioux Falls city council about a concern. His idea... stopping people from texting while driving.

"I say it's not a great idea from my perspective, in terms of coming up with it, there were 39 states that had already done this, dozens of communities that we would look to as responsible communities and so here we are in Sioux falls, we've done the right thing and I feel very good about it," Lauer said.

Sioux Falls Assistant City Attorney Keith Allenstein has some basic advice for all of us about what you can and can not do with your phone while behind the wheel.

"The best advice that I could give would be to just use your phone as a phone. If you're doing something more than just using your phone, you start to run into potential problems under this ordinance or a number of other ordinances. The more distractions you have, more than just talking on your phone, you could be in violation of careless driving, obstructing traffic and those things," Allenstein said.

Lauer said there's no expectation 100 percent of drivers will follow the law but believes most will.

"We don't have policeman on every corner, so most of us obey the speed limit, most of us obey the drinking and driving rules and most of us will obey rules regarding electronic devices," Lauer said.

Many of us have probably felt it was safe enough to text while at a stop sign or here at a stop light.

But remember, the ordinance states you are not allowed to text while your moving or a part of traffic.

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