Caught on Camera: Texting while driving - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Caught on Camera: Texting while driving

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On July first, many new laws will go into effect in Iowa. One of the more significant ones, police will now ticket those who text and drive.

We set up a camera for 30 minutes downtown to observe different drivers' behaviors.

Our camera picked up everything from grooming, to eating, to the most common of the distractions texting.

Friday, those who are caught reading, sending or receiving messages on cell phones could be ticketed.  That applies even to drivers stopped at a red light.

By the time court costs are factored in, the total bill will come to around $120.

"It needs to continue to be addressed.  It needs to be part of the education of drivers," said Sgt. Denise Brotherton with the Iowa City police.

Officers admit that it will be a law that's difficult to enforce.  Texting while driving is only a secondary offense, meaning officers could not pull drivers over for texting alone.

It also can be difficult for officers to determine the manner in which the phone is being used. Police say that's all beside the point.

"There's more to it, than I can get away with it.  Of course you can get away with it, you can get away with a lot of things, but the reason why it's there is for safety."

Police will be more vigilant about catching distracted drivers.  The goal, more so than writing tickets, is to change behavior.

          

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