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Bill that toughens texting and driving law sent to Branstad

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Legislature has sent the governor a bill that would let police officers stop and ticket drivers who were texting while driving.

The legislation approved Monday by the House would take effect July 1 if Gov. Terry Branstad were to sign it as expected. He’s already expressed support for tougher regulations. The Senate passed the measure last month.

The bill would allow officers to pull over drivers specifically for texting. It’s a secondary offense under current law, which means an officer must have another reason to make a traffic stop.

Current law bars drivers from using cellphones or other hand-held communication devices to write, send or read text messages while driving. The bill would expand those rules to include use of social media, games and internet sites.