Sioux Falls Cell Phone Ban is rearing it’s head again

Oh, Shucks, Sneve beat me to the punch again. I actually heard about this this morning but dilly-dallied and didn’t post about it. He’s a better writer anyway;

City Councilor Janet Brekke this week said she plans to propose new restrictions on the use of cellphones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel in the coming months.

I still really haven’t changed my position on this. If I were on the city council I would vote against the measure. But I think if Brekke gets the whole council involved in helping to shape the ordinance, she will get more buy in, and I see at least 4-5 of them supporting it. If it is a tie though, not sure how the mayor would vote.

I guess I don’t get to worked up about this. I actually am more worried about Christian crosses being painted on snow plows owned by taxpayers. I would follow the ordinance if passed, but here are my issues with it;

• While talking or texting on your cell phone is distracted driving, so is eating, doing your makeup, playing with your dog, etc, etc. Should we ban ALL activity extra-curricular in a vehicle? Well maybe. But guess what, we already have laws for that;

• Reckless or careless driving is already an offense. If it is determined you caused an accident while talking on your cell phone, you can be charged. Should these penalties be stiffer? Should they be felonies with jail sentences attached? YES! But that is a job for our state legislature (if we can just get them to stop worrying about abortion and guns so much).

• It has also been determined through national studies that even hands free cell phone usage in a vehicle is distracting, because it is the conversation that is distracting NOT the actual holding of the device. So how do you remedy that?

• Enforcement is really a pickle. I think our patrol officers have enough to do without trying to see if people are talking on their phones or not.

• Lastly,  I often tell people, there are good drivers and there are bad drivers. No amount of laws will protect us from bad drivers. Ever! I tell young drivers something I learned riding a bike on the streets of Sioux Falls, you must ALWAYS be a defensive driver.

Like I said, I would follow the ordinance if passed, because it would make me a safer driver. But I also think it is just compounding laws that are already on the books.



#1 Lemming on 10.18.18 at 9:21 pm

Feel good ordinance that will change nothing. Has the texting ban worked? Nope. Now we’re going to try making being on the phone an issue? What a waste of time. At least people on their cell phone are looking at the road, its the texters that scare me. Are you going to including eating, drinking and putting makeup on in the car too? Lets focus on actual issues

#2 D@ily Spin on 10.19.18 at 9:21 am

There are better subjects for the city to act on. Citations for how you pick your nose (and use cell phones) will only clog the system. If I get one, I’ll appeal then appeal the appeals. When there’s an accident while talking/texting, you’re at fault. There’s your punishment. KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid.

#3 CJL on 10.19.18 at 9:41 am

I agree. enforce the laws we have on the books.

Such as running Red lights. It amazes me the number of people here in SF that have no clue what a red light means. While Yes I have sped up to get through a Yellow light from time to time. That doesn’t mean every Yellow light you have to gun it.

Also, we need to get rid of the flashing lights. The number of people who don’t understand the Red Flashing light mean Stop just amazes me.

#4 Bruce on 10.19.18 at 11:04 am

If they are going to push this, they should also not only ban dogs from drivers laps but go after the clods who allow their animals to sit on their laps while driving. Are we going to be able to do citizen arrests when we see the driver putting on makeup while driving? How about teaching people how to drive safely?

I use my headset as much as possible but this is once again a bit of a stretch.

#5 Matt Staab on 10.19.18 at 1:13 pm

How do politicians measure their effectiveness? By the number of laws they get passed. What are laws? Restrictions of freedoms. So the more you restrict freedom, the better politician you are???

#6 Jeff Barth on 10.20.18 at 8:48 am

Having people in your vehicle can be a problem too.
How many of us as a child or a parent have heard or spoken the words,”if I have to pull this car over you’ll be sorry!”?

#7 "Beach Week" on 10.22.18 at 4:49 pm

I like to sing along to the music being broadcasted from my car radio….. (But could that make ‘Coldplay’ a potential deep pocket?)

But seriously, eating, putting on make-up, or playing with your dog (Down Rover, Down!) are not in the same league as cell phones. I think cell phone usage should be outlawed in the front seat, especially for the driver.

As far as these fancy new cars, where your phone is a part of your car, well, as long as you don’t think you are directly talking to God, then it should be phased out overtime by blaming the car manufacturers as a deep pocket…

Reckless or careless driving ordinances penalize an act, which has contributed to a tort and deal with the eating, make-up, and dog distractions, which are not as frequent. But if you have an epidemic or growing tort potential then you do need direct laws to address such a menace…