Statewide texting ban doesn't take away city laws - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Statewide texting ban doesn't take away city laws

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On the streets of Aberdeen it's already against the law to text while driving, but come this July, it will be illegal across the entire state of South Dakota.

The statewide law bans the driver of a vehicle from using any electronic devices that are being used to read, write or send text based documents while the car is in motion.

If the person is simply dialing a number for the purpose of making a phone call, this is okay. The state does encourage the use of hands free devices to make phone calls.

The new law will come into play July 1st, but it won't change anything in cities such as Vermillion, Aberdeen, Sioux Falls and Huron.

These cities are allowed to continue using their own laws, which in most cases, are stricter. All four of these cities have texting and driving as a primary offense. This means you can get pulled over for just texting. The state law is not quite that harsh.

"It's a secondary offense, so I wouldn't be able to pull them over for being on their cell phone, I would have to have a reason to stop them before that could be addressed," said Groton police officer, Justin Cleveland.

The state fine for texting and driving will be $100, but if you get pulled over in a city that already has it's own texting ordinance, the city gets to determine your fine. In Aberdeen the maximum fine is $500.

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