How many times have you witnessed some dipstick at an intersection miss a light turning green because they have their head buried in their phone?

Well, the state of South Dakota will have zero tolerance for that type of behavior starting (July 1) 2020.

That is the day House Bill 1169 goes into effect here in the state, making distracted driving a ticketable offense if you're caught using your cell phone while behind the wheel of a car.

Dakota News Now is reporting, the reason for this new bill is to help ensure drivers keep their eyes on the road and off their phones.

With that said, beginning (July 1), law enforcement officers will have the right to pull over, any distracted driver they witness not adhering to the new cell phone law.

There will be a few exceptions. Phone calls can still be made over a hands-free device or by holding your phone up to your ear. However, police are encouraging drivers to go hands-free and use Bluetooth when possible.

Drivers will also be allowed to use their phones for emergency purposes, navigation apps, or reading or entering a phone number.​

What isn't allowed are things like; social media usage behind the wheel. Once the bill goes into effect, it would be illegal to access, read, or post anything on your phone while driving.

As Dakota News Now reports, police understand this new law will be a transition for a number of drivers.

Lt. Jon Thum with the Sioux Falls Police Department told Dakota News Now, “We are putting some educational material together. We'll use this as an opportunity to educate the public and at first, we really want to focus more on education as opposed to enforcement.”

Thum says the main goal is to make South Dakota roads safer.

Under this new law, drivers that do get pulled over would be looking at a class 2 misdemeanor, so remember to put your phone down.

Source: Dakota News Now

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