We all know that texting and driving is a dangerous combination. Distracted driving is responsible for thousands of auto-related accidents each year.

Look no further than data released in 2018 by the United States Department of Transportation, that reported cell phones are involved in an astounding 1.6 million auto crashes each year, causing half a million injuries and prompting 6,000 deaths annually.

According to KSFY TV, to help further combat the distracted driving problem here in South Dakota, a house panel is currently proposing a new bill that would expand the state's texting while driving ban to mostly prohibit mobile device use by people behind the wheel.

KSFY reports on Tuesday, (February 5) The House Transportation Committee voted 12-1 to advance the bill.

South Dakota has already passed legislation saying that drivers can't text or email when operating a vehicle. However, they must be pulled over for a different violation for it to be enforced.

This new bill if passed would change that. Not only would it increase the penalty for device use while driving, it would also make it a primary offense, giving law enforcement the ability to stop the motorists they observe that are buried in their phones while behind the wheel.

As KSFY notes, there are a few exceptions in the new bill, for instance, using your mobile device for an emergency, a navigation app, making a telephone call or operating in hands-free mode would still be allowed.

Source: KSFY TV

More From Hot 104.7 - KKLS-FM