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Waterloo police say they can’t stop a driver just for texting


This news story was published on April 2, 2012.
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WATERLOO – The Director of Safety Services for the Waterloo Police Department, Daniel J. Trelka, said today in a press release that a driver cannot be stopped by law enforcement just for texting, as it is a secondary offense.

“The officer has to have another, or primary, reason to stop a vehicle,” he stated.

Waterloo polce are focusing on texting as a “quality of life initiative” for April.

The Waterloo Police issued the following information today:

The focus of the quality of life initiative for the month of April will be texting while driving. This violation is a secondary offense in Iowa. This means an officer can’t stop a vehicle solely because the driver is texting. The officer has to have another, or primary, reason to stop a vehicle before a person can be cited for texting while driving.

However, a novel approach is going to be utilized to inform and educate the motoring public in regard to this serious issue. Personnel from both Waterloo Fire Rescue and the Waterloo Police Department, whether on or off duty, are being asked to watch for drivers who are texting while driving. They will then make note of the vehicle license plate, as well as a description of the vehicle. The registered owner of the vehicle will then receive a letter advising them of the violation. It is our hope that owner of the vehicle will take action to ensure that this behavior does not continue. All too often, our police officers and firefighters are responding to accidents that have likely been caused by someone who was texting while driving.

If a person were to get cited for texting while driving, the amount of the citation would be $102.35. If a person causes a serious accident due to texting while driving, they could be fined an amount up to $1,000.00.

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4 Responses to Waterloo police say they can’t stop a driver just for texting

  1. amanda Reply Report comment

    April 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    who are they trying to fool? they can just make a reason, just like they do now.
    oh sure, they they don’t. which brings me back to. who are they tryin to fool.

    • TheRealFred Reply Report comment

      April 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Boom. You nailed it Amanda. They can stop you any time they want, and make up a reason. They do it all the time.

    • 50 miles south Reply Report comment

      April 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      I think we have all heard of somebody that is wanted, stopped on unrelated charges

      • 50 miles south Reply Report comment

        April 3, 2012 at 10:02 am

        maybe my use of the word wanted wasnt the best choice. my point was that we have all heard on the news or in a paper that someone was taken into custody on unrelated charges. a friend of mine from waterloo was murdered a number of years ago. they found his killer in des moines because of “unrelated charges”.