Iowa lawmakers are debating whether to allow law officers to issue distracted driving citations to cell-phone users.
Sen. Tod Bowman, D-Maquoketa, told a Senate subcommittee that distractions like texting while driving have become “somewhat of an epidemic” on Iowa highways, but he expressed concern that the proposed language in Senate File 33 may be too broadly worded and encompass activities like changing a radio channel or eating a hamburger while driving.
Senate File 33 seeks to prohibit drivers from engaging in a distracting activity while operating a motor vehicle. The proposal would repeal the current law, which bars a person from using a hand-held electronic communication device to write, send, or read a text message while driving a motor vehicle and bans cell-phone use outright for young drivers. Current law is only enforceable as a secondary action when a peace officer stops or detains a driver for a suspected violation of another motor vehicle law.
What do you think? Should cell phone-related distrated driving be a primary offense in Iowa?