Failure to Pass South Dakota Texting Ban Irks Local Paper

Posted on March 6, 2013

Numerous states are attempting to get a ban on texting while driving passed, yet proponents of such a measure have hit roadblocks in many areas.  In South Dakota, the bill was killed before it even had a chance to make it out of a House committee and onto the floor.  This came despite a lack of persons stepping up to actually voice dissent against the bill.

The whole situation has caused one local paper to wonder why their state seems to have fallen behind when it comes to this serious safety issue.  The editorial compares the situation to something which played out in the 80s.  At that time, South Dakota had a legal drinking age of 19.  The mandatory age wasn’t altered until highway funding was basically held hostage by the federal government.  The editorial goes on to say that seatbelt laws were similarly frowned upon by lawmakers prior to passage.

The texting ban that was shot down apparently enjoys widespread support throughout the state.  Numerous cities have enacted their own bans on the practice.  The Senate passed the measure, which then went to the House Judiciary Committee.  But that committee voted against the ban by an 8 to 5 margin.

The paper believes that this failure of lawmakers means that texting while driving should be taken up as a ballot issue that the citizens of the state can vote on.

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