A new bill that will be tougher on cell phone use while driving has advanced to the Iowa Senate. Gov. Terry Branstand supports the bill in an effort to lower traffic deaths that have been related to distacted driving. It has been found that car crash fatalities go down when cell phones are not in the hands of drivers. Motorists still have the option of sending a text or making a call verbally using a hands-free device.
If the bill passes it would make sending a text while driving a primary traffic offense, meaning a police officer could write a ticket simply for texting while driving. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense, which means that motorists can be given a ticket only if they are stopped for another reason, such as speeding.
It’s difficult to enforce the current law because most people will deny that they were texting while driving. The thinking is that this new law will make it easier to enforce and, therefore, there will be more compliance with keeping cell phones out of drivers’ hands. The fine for a violation of the law would be $30.