$500 Fine for Texting While Driving Passed by House Lawmakers
A cellphone in the hands of someone who is driving and texting on that phone is dangerous. And there are laws in South Dakota and many states that prohibit texting while driving but that hasn't stopped people.
One South Dakota lawmaker has taken the current law and proposed stiffer penalties for texting and driving and to make it a criminal offense. Former Sioux Falls Police Chief and now South Dakota Representative Doug Barthel has presented a bill to the House body in Pierre where it passed on Wednesday.
Barthel said he introduced the bill after hearing the stories of people who died in accidents involving a driver who was texting.
Presently the law allows a fine of $100 for highway drivers who text. The new bill would apply the ban to all roads and anyone using mobile devices for social networking sites. It would increase violations to a criminal offense, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
The South Dakota Senate will now consider the bill where one similar failed last year.