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Texting While Driving Ban Dies In House Committee

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File photo of a person writing a text message. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/GettyImages)

File photo of a person writing a text message. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/GettyImages)

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota House committee has killed a bill that would have banned texting while driving despite sometimes-tearful testimony from people whose loved ones have been killed in texting-related wrecks.

The Judiciary Committee voted 8-5 against the bill Wednesday, which had passed the Senate and was supported by police chiefs and insurance lobbyists. No one spoke in opposition.

Justin Iburg was among those who testified in favor of the bill. He was convicted of a September 2010 wreck near Mitchell that killed father of two John Christensen. Christensen’s widow also testified in favor of the ban.

Committee members who urged the bill’s failure said there isn’t enough evidence proving that bans effectively lower crash rates.

Four South Dakota cities in the past year have imposed bans on texting while driving.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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