Tougher texting while driving law killed

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota Senate panel has rejected a bill that would have allowed authorities to pull over drivers for texting.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-2 Tuesday to reject the bill, which would have made texting while driving a primary offense. Under current law, authorities must pull people over for an unrelated violation before they can be cited for texting.

House Democratic leader Spencer Hawley, the sponsor, says there's a "crisis" occurring with texting on South Dakota's roads.

Republican Sen. Stace Nelson, who opposed the bill, argued it would allow police officers to pull people over if they see something in a person's hand.

A violation of the law is a petty offense with a $100 fine.