Iowa texting and driving law may get stricter - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa texting and driving law may get stricter

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Texting and driving has been illegal here in Iowa since 2010 but right now, police officers can't pull you over just because they see you on your phone. That could change later this year. 

Glen Gardner and Lauren Shuster say they always try to avoid picking up their phones when they're behind the wheel.

"I try to pull over or do it at a stoplight," said Shuster, who lives in Cedar Rapids. "I will not be driving while texting."

She says their 20-year-old son does it all the time.

"He says I'm fine," said Shuster. "It's not going to be a problem."

Some lawmakers say there are too many people in Iowa who think that same thing. Right now texting and driving is a secondary offense, meaning state troopers like Randy Jones can't pull you over unless you're doing something else illegal, like speeding. In a few months it could become a primary offense, meaning troopers can stop you if they just think you're texting.

"It's going to help us with the enforcement and even make contact with the person and remind them that it is a distraction and they need to focus on their driving because primarily we just want people to be safe," said Jones.

A senate panel recently passed the bill but it still needs approval from the rest of the legislature. People like Gardner and Shuster think it's a good idea.

"People, it seems, have gotten in real trouble by texting and driving," said Gardner, who is Shuster's husband. "I think it's great."

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