New Texting While Driving Law Starts Saturday
Motorists in Iowa should be aware that this weekend, the beginning of the Independence Day Holiday, is also when some new laws will start to be enforced.
The law of interest to most, appears to be the "no texting while driving" law.
To try to curb distracted driving and it's potentially deadly results, the Iowa legislature and the governor passed a new law that goes into effect July 1st.
As it is written, the law makes texting while driving a primary offense, which allows a peace officer to initiate a traffic stop solely for a driver using a hand held device to write text messages, send text messages, read messages, browsing of the internet, playing games, and/or viewing of social media sites/apps while driving.
This does not mean you won't be able to use your Smart Phone, cell phone or other handheld device to make a phone call. Drivers may continue to answer and talk on the phone while driving, and make calls, as before.
The fine for texting while driving is around $30, however after adding up all of the court costs, it's over $100.
AAA (Triple A) Iowa is partnering with the Iowa State Patrol, by offering "CELL slips", which are fabric pockets in which to carry your phone. Once a phone is inside the pocket, it insulates the phone from receiving calls and messages. Those messages are not lost, however; as soon as the phone is taken out of the CELL slip, those messages will then be received.
These CELL slips are now available at Iowa State Patrol Posts, free of charge, while supplies last.
Iowa had over 400 traffic fatalities in 2016, and authorities are aiming to get that number down this year, by stopping texting and driving, drinking and driving, and speeding. Also by increasing the use of seat belts.