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Iowa governor wants to make cell phone use while driving hands-free

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is taking trying to toughen up the state's laws when it comes to using a phone while you drive.

Currently, Iowa law bans drivers from texting while driving; and teens are prohibited from using mobile devices at all while they drive, according to Hands Free Info.com.

On Monday, February 6, 2017, Branstad voiced his concern about distracted driving leading to traffic deaths. He noted that the laws as they stand are not enough.

"If all we do is say you can’t text and drive, how do you prove that somebody was texting?" Branstad said, according to the Des Moines Register. "They could be looking at this device in their hands and say, 'Well, I wasn't texting,' and so then you can’t get a conviction."

In 2016, police wrote fewer than 200 tickets for texting while driving, the Register reported. The way the law is now, texting while driving is a secondary offense, and police cannot pull a driver over for it unless they break another traffic law, like speeding.

A bill proposed to lawmakers would turn texting while driving into a primary offense.

In addition, both the governor and the Iowa Department of Public Safety are calling to allow drivers to only use hands-free devices, the report said.