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Iowa Senate passes law which would allow officers to stop a driver only for “texting”

This news story was published on March 11, 2014.
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cell-phoneDES MOINES – If you have ever been annoyed – or almost slammed into – by a person sending text messages while driving their car, then you will like the bill passed by the Iowa Senate today.

Tuesday, by a vote of 41-7, the Iowa Senate approved Senate File 2289 which establishes electronic messaging while driving as a moving violation and a primary traffic offense for purposes of law enforcement, and makes penalties applicable.

An “electronic communication device” does not include a voice-operated or hands-free device, the bill stipulates.

At this time under Iowa law, police officers are only allowed to ticket drivers for texting after first citing the motorist for another traffic violation. Examples would be failing to stop at a stop sign, speeding, failing to yield.

This bill would allow an officer who sees a person operating a cell phone to pull that person over and write the citation.

Studies have shown that texting while driving is as dangerous as drunk driving.

According to a University of Utah Psychology Professor David Strayer, “Just like you put yourself and other people at risk when you drive drunk, you put yourself and others at risk when you use a cell phone and drive. The level of impairment is very similar.”

Many people believe that any cell phone use while driving should be illegal, while others say this law will give police “another way for cops to pull you over whether or not youre doing anything wrong.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of IA (ACLU-IA) is against the bill.

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5 Responses to Iowa Senate passes law which would allow officers to stop a driver only for “texting”

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 12, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Long overdue.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 12, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Thank god a smart decision from our government. Long overdue.

  3. Allen Reply Report comment

    March 11, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    It’s about time, now it just needs to be enforced.

  4. LVS Reply Report comment

    March 11, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Normally I am against most things that take away our freedom, but this is a needed law. Easily 70% of the drivers going by our hose are texting and if they are doing that there is no way they are looking at the road.

    • Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

      March 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      @ LVS — I’m in agreement with you. Big Brother Government is in our business too much the way it is, but this time, I think they made right move. Twice in the last month alone, I’ve had drivers drift into my lane because they were texting and driving. Enough is enough.