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Law enforcement says Iowa texting and driving law isn’t working

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DAVENPORT, Iowa-- Distracted driving is a sight that's become all too common. While lawmakers try to change that, law enforcement officials have said it's not enough.

"I don't know if it's gotten any better," said Sgt. Nathan Ludwig with the Iowa State Patrol.

Iowa's new texting and driving law went into effect last July, and since then, over 960 people have been ticketed for texting while driving. However, the Scott County Sheriff's Office said it's too difficult to enforce.

"It's hard for us because we have to prove the part of texting," Sgt. Thomas Leonard said. "So if someone is using the phone to dial somebody, that's not considered texting."

The Iowa law only prohibits texting while driving, unlike Illinois' law which makes it illegal to use any sort of hand-held device. Drivers in Iowa can navigate or change the music on their phones and not get a ticket under this law. But that doesn't mean it can't come with consequences.

"Anything that takes your eyes off the wheel for a split second, that's where the accidents are going to happen," Sgt. Leonard said.

Several law enforcement officials agree that a ban on hand-held devices would be easier to enforce and more impactful.

"There'd be no question then," Sgt. Ludwig said.

Law enforcement in Dubuque, Iowa have also expressed concerns that the current law doesn't do enough.

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