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Iowa ban on texting allegedly not reducing crashes

If you were glad to hear about the new texting-while-driving ban, you may be surprised that it hasn't reduced the number of crashes in Iowa. The reports from June 29 claim that officers don't enforce it often due to legal restrictions, and the ban is not reducing crashes, anyway. You may disagree that the ban may not be needed, though, especially if you were hurt in a car accident with a driver who was texting at the time. You deserve to be compensated for their negligence, even if the ban isn't being enforced often enough.

Text-related crashes have been on the rise in Iowa, but Iowa was only convicting around 2.5 drivers per county for texting in all of 2013. According to crash history reports from the Iowa Department of Transportation, the law has not done anything to reduce the number of cellphone-related crashes. In fact, it's believed that the problem is worse than it seems, because distracted driving isn't always reported correctly after accidents in the state.

Data for 2013 has already proved to have the highest number of phone-related car crashes since 2009. Why isn't this ban helping in Iowa like it is in other states? Some believe that's because the legislators there haven't been able to pass a law to make texting while driving a primary offense for which officers could pull drivers over.

As the ban is now, officers can only pull someone over if they are committing another offense, like speeding. Texting alone isn't enough. Iowa is only one of four states that doesn't enforce texting while driving as a primary offense. The others include Ohio, Nebraska and Florida.

Source: Sioux City Journal, "Iowa’s texting-while-driving ban isn't reducing crashes" Sarah Hadley, Jun. 29, 2014

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