Texting and Driving Numbers Surprise Some

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DES MOINES - The Iowa State Patrol has made just 96 'texting while driving' citations since July of last year.

The state patrol says that's because the citation is a 'secondary law' in Iowa instead of a 'primary law.' If an Iowa trooper pulls somebody over, they first have to find you breaking a 'primary law' before it can ticket you for texting. Nonetheless, drivers in the Quad Cities still wish something more could be done.

"I almost got hit yesterday going into my chiropractor," driver Gail Johns said. "He was talking on his cell phone, but I mean that's just as bad."

In Iowa, talking on your phone is legal. That is the same in Illinois except in construction and school zones. Texting while driving is illegal in both states though.

"They should have ticketed a lot more people," driver Ed Lingenfelter said.

Still, some drivers are trying to stop others from texting and driving without the help of troopers. At stop lights, many people can often be seen on their phones because they're not moving.

"I usually get on the other side of them and say, 'Get off your phone,'" Johns said.

The Iowa State Patrol wishes it could do more to enforce the texting ban. However, it will have to wait until next legislative session to try to make the citation a 'primary law.' In Illinois, the 'texting while driving' law is actually 'primary.'