Emotional testimony from supporters of texting ban, Friday - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Emotional testimony from supporters of texting ban, Friday

Posted: Updated:

State lawmakers weighed a bill, Friday morning, that would ban texting behind the wheel across South Dakota.

It's a measure that has been repeatedly rejected by the legislature in the past. But, for the first time, it follows four major South Dakota cities that have already enacted their own bans.

Senate Bill 142 passed, Friday, through the Senate Transportation Committee 5-2 after nearly two hours of emotional testimony by supporters of banning texting while driving and those whose lives have changed because of it.

Jon would have been alive today if this 20 year-old man would have been focusing on the road, not his cell phone," Janean Christensen said.

Janean Christensen lost her 44 year-old husband, September 2010, when Justin Iburg checked a text message. It was a day both Jenean and Justin admit was the worst of their lives.

"It's an ambulance ride I'll never forget. Telling my children their father was gone was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Christensen said.

It wasn't over yet. Dozens gave testimony, including Terry Sorensen, who lost his son Phil in Sioux Falls, last July.

"You listen to what they have to say, those for and against. That's tough, too. Especially when they have kids. I hope it never happens to them, they never lose a child. It's the worst thing that could happen," Terry Sorensen said.

Two lawmakers on the committee voted down the measure, saying enforcing the law would be too difficult and we should be focusing our efforts on laws already in place.

Senator Mike Vehle (R-Mitchell) is one of the bill's primary sponsors. He says it's time to pass this bill because, unlike years before, texting has become part of our culture.

"I'm hopeful this is the year. When you sponsor a bill that's very much believed in, you have to be hopeful and believe this is the year," Sen. Mike Vehle said.

What's even more telling: families directly affected say they just don't want this happening to anyone else. 

"It's time something gets done so another family won't have to go through this pain. It's a growing issue you need to vote yes so this tragedy doesn't happen to anyone," Christensen said.

The bill now moves to the Senate floor. Stay with KSFY News as we follow its progress through the legislature.

For a closer look at Senate Bill 142, click on the following link: http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2013/Bill.aspx?Bill=142

  • Government Surplus program provides armored trucks for officers in Mitchell, Watertown

    Government Surplus program provides armored trucks for officers in Mitchell, Watertown

    Government Surplus program provides armored trucks for officers in Mitchell, Watertown

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:21 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:21:48 GMT
    Mitchell police train on armored truck on loan from federal surplus programMore >>
    Mitchell police train on armored truck on loan from federal surplus programMore >>
  • Mountain lion tranquilized in Spearfish tree

    Mountain lion tranquilized in Spearfish tree

    Mountain lion tranquilized in Spearfish tree

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-04-25 03:48:35 GMT
    SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) A wildlife official says a mountain lion that was found in a tree at a Spearfish home was tranquilized and later released a few miles away in a rural area. South Dakota Game, Fish Parks Game Warden Mike Apland says that a Spearfish couple enjoying an early morning cup of coffee on their deck Wednesday noticed the cougar in the tree and called authorities. Apland says a dog likely had chased the young male mountain lion up the pine tree.He says wildlife officials ...More >>
    SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) A wildlife official says a mountain lion that was found in a tree at a Spearfish home was tranquilized and later released a few miles away in a rural area. South Dakota Game, Fish Parks Game Warden Mike Apland says that a Spearfish couple enjoying an early morning cup of coffee on their deck Wednesday noticed the cougar in the tree and called authorities. Apland says a dog likely had chased the young male mountain lion up the pine tree.He says wildlife officials ...More >>
  • Second Bomb Threat in One Day

    Bomb Threat in Sioux Falls

    Bomb Threat in Sioux Falls

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:57 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:57:08 GMT
    Sioux Falls Police were called to Walmart on south Louise avenue early Thursday evening, April 24th. Store management evacuated the building prior to the polices arrival. Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue and Rural Metro Ambulance arrived to stand by. A search of the building was conducted by officers and staff and no suspicious devices were found. Business resumed as usual after the search was complete and no threats were found.The investigation into this threat, and also a bomb threat that was ca...More >>
    Sioux Falls Police were called to Walmart on south Louise avenue early Thursday evening, April 24th. Store management evacuated the building prior to the polices arrival. Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue and Rural Metro Ambulance arrived to stand by. A search of the building was conducted by officers and staff and no suspicious devices were found. Business resumed as usual after the search was complete and no threats were found.The investigation into this threat, and also a bomb threat that was ca...More >>
  • A closer look at the future of unmanned aircraft

    A closer look at the future of unmanned aircraft

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:40 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:40:03 GMT
    It cuts through the air in a matter of seconds. The hum of the rotors akin to a growing swarm, but this drone doesn't sting. Instead it gives pilot Adam Jungemann the opportunity to see the world like never before. "It's a chance to kind of cut loose and just fly and just be able to see everything! See things from a birds eye view, it's just totally different and it's a very freeing kind of feeling that way." Said Jungemann.As a videographer, Adam uses the DJI Phantom drone to give the AJ Pro...More >>
    It cuts through the air in a matter of seconds. The hum of the rotors akin to a growing swarm, but this drone doesn't sting. Instead it gives pilot Adam Jungemann the opportunity to see the world like never before. "It's a chance to kind of cut loose and just fly and just be able to see everything! See things from a birds eye view, it's just totally different and it's a very freeing kind of feeling that way." Said Jungemann.As a videographer, Adam uses the DJI Phantom drone to give the AJ Pro...More >>
  • Family happy everyone is OK after car crashes into house

    Family happy everyone is OK after car crashes into house

    Family happy everyone is OK after car crashes into house

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:18 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:18:42 GMT
    A driver lost control and came crashing through the garage into his own home.More >>
    A driver lost control and came crashing through the garage into his own home.More >>
  • Agencies urge Governor Daugaard to expand Medicaid

    Agencies urge Governor Daugaard to expand Medicaid

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:13:59 GMT
    Community health professionals and providers are urging Governor Dennis Daugaard to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.Despite the state legislative session being over, the Governor has the authority to expand Medicaid. Thursday's gathering at the Salvation Army in Sioux Falls was in part to inform people that Medicaid expansion is still possible. Rosti Voznyuk and his wife don't qualify for Medicaid right now, and he tells KSFY he can't afford the insurance provided by his employe...More >>
    Community health professionals and providers are urging Governor Dennis Daugaard to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.Despite the state legislative session being over, the Governor has the authority to expand Medicaid. Thursday's gathering at the Salvation Army in Sioux Falls was in part to inform people that Medicaid expansion is still possible. Rosti Voznyuk and his wife don't qualify for Medicaid right now, and he tells KSFY he can't afford the insurance provided by his employe...More >>
  • Avera Medical Minute ASL: Meeting the need for Family Care Physicians

    Avera Medical Minute ASL: Meeting the need for Family Care Physicians

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:00:12 GMT
    It's not always easy to attract new doctors to rural South Dakota. In Aberdeen, there's been a growing demand in the family practice field. At Avera St. Luke's hospital, they're meeting that need with exceptional talent. "Hi Mason! I'm Dr. Shawn, how are you my friend?" Asked Dr. Shawn Bartel, with Avera Aberdeen Family Physicians.The moment he walks in the door, you can tell Dr. Shawn Bartel loves what he does. As the newest face at the Avera State Street Medical Square, he's hit the ground ...More >>
    It's not always easy to attract new doctors to rural South Dakota. In Aberdeen, there's been a growing demand in the family practice field. At Avera St. Luke's hospital, they're meeting that need with exceptional talent. "Hi Mason! I'm Dr. Shawn, how are you my friend?" Asked Dr. Shawn Bartel, with Avera Aberdeen Family Physicians.The moment he walks in the door, you can tell Dr. Shawn Bartel loves what he does. As the newest face at the Avera State Street Medical Square, he's hit the ground ...More >>
  • Gravity coaster coming to Storybook Land

    Gravity coaster coming to Storybook Land

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:18 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:18:49 GMT
    Storybook LandStorybook Land
    Storybook land is a place kids and parents can go to have a good time.“I come here with my dad and mom,” Joshua Chambers said. Chambers heads to the park often, and the Aberdeen Sertoma Club, and Parks and Recreation Department have some new ideas to bring a little more fun to the park“The first ride to be put in place will be the gravity coaster, it’ll be a really nice addition to the park,” Parks and Rec. Director Doug Johnson said. Right now storybook land has only a few rides, but what th...More >>
    Storybook land is a place kids and parents can go to have a good time.“I come here with my dad and mom,” Joshua Chambers said. Chambers heads to the park often, and the Aberdeen Sertoma Club, and Parks and Recreation Department have some new ideas to bring a little more fun to the park“The first ride to be put in place will be the gravity coaster, it’ll be a really nice addition to the park,” Parks and Rec. Director Doug Johnson said. Right now storybook land has only a few rides, but what th...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.