New Texting and Driving Law In Effect

A new tougher law against texting while driving took effect July 1st, making it a primary offense. That means law enforcement officers can now stop a driver for the violation solely because he or she is texting. The new law allows drivers to make a call or check GPS directions, but it outlaws texting, using social media or playing games while driving. Those caught violating the new law face a $30 fine, plus court fees for a total of just over $100.
A related law also was passed this year making texting evidence of reckless driving in cases of motor vehicle homicide. That new law sets a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Traffic fatalities in Iowa reached a four-year high in 2016 from a five-year low of 317 in 2013 to 403.
Distracted driving due to texting has been blamed for the sharp increase.