Recently, our blog has seen a surplus of texting while driving stories, but as a Woodinville auto accident attorney and Bothell wrongful death lawyer it is my mission to end the senseless distracted driving habits that plague America. Sadly, the South Dakota government does not feel the same. In spite of listening to an hour’s testimony from the friends and families that lost loved ones through texting while driving accidents the South Dakota House Local Government committee decided to crush Senate Bill 71, which would ban texting while driving in South Dakota.
More than 10 people testified in support of the bill, including Miss South Dakota, Lauren Vaillancourt, who lost her brother, Kelson Vaillancourt, was killed by another driver texting while driving. Even with the tearful stories of lost lives the bill was voted down 8-5.
In the opposition there were concerns about how difficult the ban would be to enforce since the bill would specifically limit text messaging not dialing, talking on the phone or using hands-free applications.
Some opponents took their objections to a new level. One woman, Republican Representative Betty Olson went so far as to say that she opposed the ban because it could lead to more bans down the road, stating, “checking crops, looking t livestock, applying makeup, reading a book, tuning the radio, swatting a bug, checking on the kids in the back seat, dosing off and eating. Those are all incidents of distracted driving”.
Being a Bellevue persona injury attorney and the founder of Teens Against Distracted Driving this seems absolutely ridiculous to me. Texting while driving has been shown in studies to actually be more dangerous than Drunk Driving, but while Drunk Driving is socially unacceptable, texting while driving is still considered a constitutional right by many. In the last month alone, Premier Law Group has reported on 5 texting while driving accidents, 4 of which were fatal.
With lawmakers in some states unconcerned with the high number of fatal texting while driving accidents the responsibility lies in all of our hands to do the right thing. Take the pledge to not text while driving and spread the word to others. You can take the pledge my clicking on the image below.