SD lawmakers trying to crack down on distracted youth driving

South Dakota News

In 2018, there were 3,426 vehicle crashes in the U.S. involving people between the ages of 0 to 19 years. As a way to curb that number, some South Dakota lawmakers are taking action.

The South Dakota Senate bill would extend the instruction permit for new drivers from six months to 12 months. That would give young adults more time to practice before heading out on their own.

“I disagree because I think people that are underage can learn in six months, but if they really wanted to they can,” said Joshua Barber.

Barber lives in Elk Point, and he passed his drivers test Wednesday. He says the problem is most likely not the age, but other factors like the weather. Chad Boetger has a teenage son and thinks this bill could be a good thing.

“It’s worth a try. I think technology needs to step up and somehow disable that function or disable phones when they are driving, but you know, anything is worth a try anytime you get more experience behind the wheel it’s going to be safer,” said Boetger.

The bill will also limit the number of minor passengers in the car to one non-family member during the time of the restricted permit. Jeff Mantz makes a living driving and thinks this bill will help young adults to be safer.

“I think that drivers education is important. Some of the training and safety issues the texting, driving thing is an issue today so I can understand why there is more concern,” said Mantz. 

You can learn more about the bill by clicking here

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