In an effort to reduce distracted driving caused by texting while driving, in 2017, Iowa’s distracted driving law became a primary law, empowering law enforcement officers to stop any driver texting (reading, writing, or sending) or using any other portable electronic device unless their motor vehicle is at a complete stop and off the traveled portion of a roadway.
Although a step in the right direction, many believe the law does not go far enough. As one Iowa law maker recently noted, “I think we all understand it, we all recognize that this distracted driving is a problem in the state of Iowa, and it continues. Every one of us that drives…sees it [texting while driving] probably every trip we make.”
In response to the continued threat to safety, the Iowa Senate Transportation Committee has resolved to do something about it. Recently they kicked it up a notch, unanimously advancing Senate File 330, a bill – expected to pass – that would make it illegal to use an electronic communication device while driving unless in hands-free or voice-activated mode.
If passed the new law will prohibit the use (while driving) of electronic devices capable of being used being used to compose, send, receive, or read an electronic message, unless it is in a voice-activated or hands-free mode.” Drivers in violation of the new law will have their license suspended for single violations and revoked for two or more. If a license is revoked, a new license or permit will not be issued until the expiration of one year or until a minor reaches the age of eighteen. The restriction will be implement uniformly thorough the state of Iowa.
It’s a fact that drivers who use hand-held devices while driving are 4 times as likely to get into car accidents that result in injuries and fatalities. Sending or reading a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds, which at 55 mph, is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Nationally, every year many are hurt in distracted driving accidents and young drivers are especially at risk. Barriers to texting while driving such as hands free driving may reduce injuries and save lives.
Despite the dangers of distracted driving, drivers continue to talk and text while driving. When you are injured by another driver’s negligence, contact Loney & Schueller as soon as possible. Contact us to schedule your free consultation with our experienced distracted driving car accidents lawyers at 515-416-4006.