Iowa Senate Passes Texting Bill

Using a cell phone the wrong way at the wrong time could get you a traffic ticket if a bill that cleared the Iowa Senate Wednesday night becomes law.

Drivers still could use a hand-held device to make a phone call or look at a digital map to get G-P-S driving directions, but police could pull a driver over for texting, Snapchatting or having a live Facebook session behind the wheel.

Senator Liz Mathis of Cedar Rapids would like to go farther, but she and most of the other senators voted for the bill.

Republican Senator Michael Breitbach of Strawberry Point, who is a former insurance agent, says he’d like to have a “stronger” state law, too, but the reality is a “hands free” proposal couldn’t pass the legislature.

A couple of other senators expressed support for an “eyes on the road, hands on the wheel” approach that would keep drivers from using a smart phone. Senator Tod Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa, says the bill is at least a step in the right direction.

The bill cleared the Senate on a 43-to-six vote. Governor Branstad and a coalition called “Stay Alive: Don’t Phone and Drive” are pressing legislators to pass a “hands-free” law for all Iowa motorists.


(story courtesy of Radio Iowa)