Texting and driving law to take effect - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Texting and driving law to take effect

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Iowa's texting and driving law takes effect Saturday.

That means if authorities see you texting and driving, they can pull you over, and you can be cited.

You don't have to travel far to see people driving while using their phones.

Cedar Falls Police officer Javier Mercado says drivers do a pretty good job not texting and driving when police are around, but sometimes drivers get caught.

"We hear all kinds of things, but a lot of times, people will just say they were distracted, and that they were on their phone," officer Mercado said.

Officer Mercado said distracted driving is one of the leading causes of crashes, and he encourages drivers of all ages to be cautious and pay attention.

"Many times the cause of those accidents is somebody has rear-ended the car in front of them, because they were distracted by something inside the vehicle. Many times it's an electronic device," officer Mercado said.

As Iowa law stands Friday, you can be cited for texting and driving, but you can't be pulled over for just being on your phone, because it's a secondary law.

That all changes Saturday, and Cedar Falls police say you can still talk and use applications on your phone like GPS, but if they see you texting, you'll see them in the mirror, because you'll get pulled over.

"We would just really encourage people to use their phone to please pull over. No text message is worth an accident, their life or anybody else's life for that matter," officer Mercado said.

If you get cited for texting and driving, the ticket will cost you nearly $100 with court costs and the ticket.

Authorities say it's a small price to pay to reduce distracted driving on Iowa roads.

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