In South Dakota, a ban on texting while driving failed to garner the votes necessary to receive passage and become the law of the land. Although the measure received the go-ahead from the state’s Senate, passage in the House was another matter. In fact, the bill never even made it out of the House Judiciary Committee.
But even though the matter won’t be taken up this year at the state level, it is gaining traction in one local jurisdiction. The city of Mitchell’s local council debated the ban yesterday, and the very Senator who introduced the texting and driving ban at the state level was on hand to urge passage at the local level. Because of that, the Council has opted to model their own proposed measure after the state law that was recently shot down.
It would already appear that the ordinance has the votes necessary to secure passage when it goes in front of the City Council at the beginning of April. Of the eight members on the council, four have already said they would vote in favor of the measure. Since the mayor of Mitchell has long been a proponent of a texting ban and he’s the one whose decision counts in the event of a tie, the ordinance looks set to easily jump any roadblocks.
Some council members thought texting should be a state matter, while one member thought a full cellphone ban might be in order.