Aberdeen has had a texting while driving ban in place since July, and now the legislature wants to follow suit. On Wednesday South Dakota House Speaker Brian Gosch proposed a statewide ban on texting while driving.
Aberdeen is one of several cities in the state that took it upon their local government to get rid of texting behind the wheel. Aberdeen Mayor Mike Levsen says the law was a good idea, and he doesn't oppose a statewide ban.
"We had good evidence from our law enforcement people that the incidence of accidents due to inattentive driving due to texting was increasing, so we followed on their recommendation," Levsen said.
Jordan Abu-Syria lives in Aberdeen, and he said he isn't sure if banning texting is really doing anything. He still sees texting when he is driving around Aberdeen.
"Especially I see it when I'm driving," he said. "You may see someone swerve, probably chances are that they are texting and driving. I'll see them looking down and up all the time, which is not a good thing because it's distracting."
In Aberdeen drivers who are caught texting and will face a misdemeanor charge with a maximum punishment of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Mayor Levsen knew some people wouldn't follow the law, but he does think it is what had to be done, to keep the roads safer.
"It's a good guide to tell people what is safe and what to do," he said.
There will be a vote on the statewide ban this Monday.