Iowa’s distracted driving law

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According to Iowa law, no one can use a handheld device to write, send or read a message while driving a motor vehicle in Iowa.   That law was signed by Iowa Governor Chet Culver in 2010, making Iowa the nation’s 21st state to ban texting for all drivers. 

Cell phones are not banned for drivers in Iowa, but teens with a restricted license are prohibited from using any electronics, including talking on the phone, while driving.   For teens, it is a primary offense – meaning police can issue a citation to a driver for violating the ban. 

Iowa Department of Public Safety officials say an average ten lives are lost and nearly 1,000 people are injured in distracted driving crashes in Iowa. 

The National Safety Council says more than one of every four crashes in the United States is caused by people talking or texting on cell phones.

Iowa FADD – Family Against Distracted Driving – is a community safety project started to help reduce the number of crashes, injuries and death caused by distracted drivers.  The organization offers students in Newton, Iowa a $25 iTunes or HyVee gift card, and a $100 college scholarship, for agreeing in writing “to simply follow the law and quit distracted driving.”