Texting While Driving

Luke Martin, Writer

Photo Provided by The Post and Courier
Photo Provided by The Post and Courier

Many people are guilty of texting while driving. This is a very dangerous habit to partake in as it could result in injuries or even fatalities. Drivers who are texting while driving are 70% more likely to leave their lane and spend 400% more time looking away from the road, according to the Iowa department of Transportation.

On Tuesday, March 17, the Iowa Senate voted 44-6 to make texting while driving a primary offense rather than a secondary offense. This means that a police officer is able to pull an individual over solely for texting while driving rather than for having a headlight out, speeding, etc.

Previous bills that were introduced failed, these include a no holding a hand-held device while driving bill, and also a distracted while driving bill. This bill, however, has Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s support, and was introduced by the state Department of Public Safety.

Specifically, the law prohibits things such as:

  • Teen drivers with restricted driver’s licenses from using any electronic communication device or electronic entertainment device while driving
  • Texting while driving by all drivers
  • Require all persons under age 18 to wear a seat belt, safety harness or safety restraint system while driving or riding in a motor vehicle

Keeler Dix, freshman, said, “I think it is necessary because there is many phone caused accidents.”

Rob Henry, city official of Davenport said, “I don’t believe necessarily from enforcement but certainly from awareness. In my opinion, laws don’t necessarily stop unsafe behavior but they can bring awareness to people who have the ability to change their own behavior. I think that is the real intent and hope for this new law; to get young people to think more about unsafe driving behavior.”

A text message or two to your friends can wait, it’s our law.