North Dakota lawmakers bring back distracted driving billNorth Dakota lawmakers revived the distracted driving bill Wednesday after it was defeated by one vote on Tuesday.
By: Teri Finneman, Forum Communications
BISMARCK - North Dakota lawmakers revived the distracted driving bill today after it was defeated by one vote on Tuesday.
Rep. Bob Skarphol, R-Tioga, asked the House to reconsider its action on the bill, which then passed on a 56-37 vote. It will now go to the Senate.
House Bill 1190 goes beyond texting while driving and includes any distraction. Like the texting while driving ban bill, this bill carries a $100 fine. However, distracted driving would be a secondary offense, not a primary one like the texting bill.
In other words, drivers would need to be pulled over for another violation—like weaving in the road—before they could be cited for distracted driving.
Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot, has supported the distracted driving bill, saying the texting while driving bill focuses on just one form of distracted driving. Other supporters have said people shouldn’t be penalized for texting if it isn’t affecting their driving.
Opponents have said the public is primarily concerned about texting while driving. Rep. Ed Gruchalla, D-Fargo, has opposed the distracted driving bill due to its secondary enforcement.
The Senate will now consider both the distracted driving bill and the texting while driving ban, which passed Tuesday on a 50-41 vote.