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  Technology   Mobiles & Tabs  20 Oct 2018  Sioux Falls official suggests ban on phones while driving

Sioux Falls official suggests ban on phones while driving

AP
Published : Oct 20, 2018, 3:17 pm IST
Updated : Oct 20, 2018, 3:17 pm IST

Sioux Falls already has distracted driving laws that can penalize unsafe driving caused by cell phones.

City Councilor Janet Brekke said this week that she plans to propose new restrictions on the use of all handheld electronics while behind the wheel in the coming months. (Representative Image)
 City Councilor Janet Brekke said this week that she plans to propose new restrictions on the use of all handheld electronics while behind the wheel in the coming months. (Representative Image)

Sioux Falls drivers could be banned from using cell phones and other electronic devices under a proposed ordinance.

City Councilor Janet Brekke said this week that she plans to propose new restrictions on the use of all handheld electronics while behind the wheel in the coming months, the Argus Leader reported.

Sioux Falls already has distracted driving laws that can penalise unsafe driving caused by cell phones, such as texting while driving. But Brekke said those laws have enforcement challenges.

"It feels like our current laws are inadequate to address the issue, and it's clearly a safety issue," Brekke said.

Brekke hasn't formalised the proposal but said it'll ban all handheld electronics from being used by people operating vehicles on public streets. Bluetooth or other hands-free communication devices would be permitted.

A similar measure was proposed in 2015 but didn't advance.

Brekke hopes to discuss her ideas with colleagues before formally introducing a measure.

Some councillors, such as Pat Starr and Theresa Stehly, have said they're inclined to support Brekke's proposal. But Councillor Curt Soehl expressed concern about the potential for government to interfere too far into residents' daily behaviour.

"If we're going to cut down on distracted driving, where do we stop?" Soehl asked. "Do we make it illegal for that person who has their dog on their lap while they're driving too? I haven't formed an opinion on how we should tackle distracted driving."

(Source)

Tags: sioux falls, driving, cell phones