Family & Friends ask Iowa to ban texting and driving - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family & Friends ask Iowa to ban texting and driving

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(KWWL) -

A grieving mother who lost two teenage daughters in a texting and driving crash is asking lawmakers to create stricter laws against using a cell phone while behind the wheel.

Jenny Perez, lost her daughters 16-year-old Selena and 13-year-old Bella in a crash last November on County Home and North Troy Roads in Linn County.

Deputies say a man texting and driving rear-ended a car that was waiting to turn.

 "We are here because our friends Selena and Bella were killed in a tragic accident," said a friend of Selena and Bella's.

 The friend and others from Linn-Mar High School, along with the victim's mother spoke at the Capitol on Wednesday.

 The group, along with others from across the state, begging lawmakers to take action to prevent a similar situation from happening to others.

 Iowa State Patrol Trooper Bob Conrad says it is frustrating the state's laws don't allow them to pull people over for texting while driving.

 "I just actually had court, I testified this morning in a distracted driving case where a person ran into the back of another vehicle because of distraction and so they are happening all the time," said Conrad.

 Currently, in Iowa, there is no ban on hand-held devices and texting is a secondary offense; meaning that can't be the primary reason an officer pulls you over.

 "We owe it to my daughters, in their honor, to make sure no one else dies," said Selena and Bella's mother Jenny Perez.

 She is asking Iowa to join 15 other states in banning all hand-held devices while driving. 

 Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds also spoke at the press conference.

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