Distracted Driving

SDPB News: June 29

20 hours ago

How is South Dakota cracking down on distracted driving? Also, what is the new state program that is giving aid toward families in need of groceries?

All this and more in today's SDPB News Podcast. Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify today.

Student Wins $10k In Safe DrivingContest

Jul 1, 2016
Levi Gutz

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety gave $10,000 to a teenager at the Yankton Driver’s License Station Friday morning. 

The award is part of a program aimed at improving teen driving.  

Adam Lange is a junior at Yankton High School. He entered the Lesson Learned contest by speaking out on social media on the dangers of distracted driving.

The State Moves Toward Greater Child Well-Being

Jun 29, 2016

South Dakota ranks 14 in child well-being. That's up from last year according to the annual Kids Count survey. One expert suggests improvements in areas that the state is lagging behind.

Like other Midwest states, South Dakota ranks high in overall measures released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to compare well-being across states over time. The survey looks at areas of economy, education, health and community.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Public safety officials say this year’s holiday weekend breaks a trend in fatal crashes on South Dakota roads. Lee Axdahl is director of the state’s Office of Highway Safety.

"We always head into Memorial Day weekend, which is the unofficial start of summer, with our fingers crossed, and this year that worked," Axdahl says. "Apparently, from the information that we have so far in South Dakota, we don't know of any roadway fatalities that have been reported in the state for the official Memorial Day weekend, which is good, because in 2014 we had six fatalities and in 2015 we had four."

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

People who don’t pay attention while driving in Sioux Falls are now more likely to be pulled over. City officials are teaming up with the police department on a campaign to curb distracted driving. State law bans texting while behind the wheel across South Dakota. Now Sioux Falls leaders are looking beyond cell phones.


Safety is paramount in discussions this week ranging from drug use to defense against an active shooter.  The discussions are part of the South Dakota Safety Council's annual conference to spotlight health and safety.  SDPB news producer Kealey Bultena sat down with Don Marose, a Minnesota State Trooper.  Marose, who hosts trainings for schools and businesses on traffic safety, talked about distracted driving.

Bultena also visited with Chad Sheehan who owns a workplace violence consulting business.  His company has trained more than 13,000 people in the last two years.