Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel said last week he hopes people simply obey the new ordinance banning texting while driving and that officers don’t have to write any $95 tickets.
Well, as of Tuesday afternoon, no citations have been issued.
So does that mean the ordinance is working? Have people put their phones away? Mayor Mike Huether said last week that starting Friday (when the law went into effect) Sioux Falls’ roads would be safer.
Barthel also said during last week’s press conference that he won’t hesitate to set up saturation patrols to ensure the law is enforced.
Huether also hopes to see other cities follow Sioux Falls’ lead to create a ban. But the Mitchell City Council on Monday decided to wait and see what happens during the 2013 State Legislative session before making any citywide decisions, according to today’s story in the Daily Republic.
In August, Brandon also decided not to enact a texting while driving city ordinance. Alderman Blaine Jones said such a ban would be “next to impossible to enforce.” During that discussion, Brandon Police Chief Dave Kull also said that careless driving is one way to write tickets for distracted driving, because if someone is swerving because they’re looking down at their phone or texting or checking emails, they can get pulled over and ticketed for careless driving.
That’s the case here in Sioux Falls, too, Barthel said. There’s plenty of laws on the books to cite people for bad driving.