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Texting-While-Driving Ban Approved in Aberdeen

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According to the American News, Aberdeen is the sixth South Dakota city to ban texting while driving.

On Monday, the Aberdeen City Council passed a texting ban that applies to all drivers, regardless of age, within the city limits. The law takes effect 20 days after the law is published, meaning it should go into effect around July 24.

The law covers not only texting, but surfing the internet or sending emails while behind the wheel. Drivers can still text if they are seeking emergency assistance or are reporting an accident.

The ban does not include making calls while driving.

Punishment for violating the ban includes a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Police chief Don Lanpher Jr. told the American News that officers will keep an eye out for drivers who look down for extended periods of time. He admits that there will be some issues with the ordinance, but that it is “a good start.”

The police department plans to publicize the ordinance using public service announcements and signage.

Other cities with texting bans include Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Watertown, Brookings, Vermillion and Huron.

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