Iowa bans texting while driving

Iowa recently became the 21st state to ban texting while driving.

Gov. Chet Culver (D) on April 1 signed the new law, which will go into effect July 1. The law also bans all cell phone use for teen drivers with intermediate or restricted licenses. Violation of the law is a misdemeanor, and drivers are subject to a $30 fine. Drivers who violate the law and cause a serious injury or death face a $500 fine or a 90-day suspension and a $1,000 fine or 180-day suspension, respectively. The law is secondary enforced for adults, but primary enforced for teen drivers. Primary enforcement means a driver can be pulled over solely for texting while driving, while secondary enforcement allows officers to ticket for violations only after stopping the motorist for another offense.

Twenty other states, the District of Columbia and Guam now ban text messaging for all drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Fifteen states, the District of Columbia and Guam have primary enforcement laws, while the remaining states have secondary enforced bans.

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