Governor Signs Texting And Driving Law, But Does It Go Far Enough?
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed new legislation Monday that bans texting and driving in the the state. Once only a secondary offense, officers can now pull drivers over if they suspect they are texting in the vehicle. And that’s where the real story begins.
Governor Branstad expressed his disappointment yesterday at the signing ceremony that the state legislature couldn’t pass an outright ban on hand-held devices while driving. But Branstad still thinks the law is a good first step and will change the way Iowans.drive. For some, I’m sure it will. But for others, it won’t. They’ll risk the $30 fine and keep texting away. Plus, how are officers going to prove you were texting?
This is the problem with the law according to some in law enforcement. What’s to stop me from telling an officer that just pulled me over for texting that I wasn’t texting. I was checking my GPS. I was typing in the numbers to my son’s school. I was changing my profile picture on Facebook. NONE of those things are illegal to do in my car according to Iowa law. The ban is specifically targeting texting and driving. The only true way to make distracted driving go away? Make all phone use in vehicles hands-free. Or ban the use of cell phones altogether.
Listen, I use my phone in my car just like the rest of you do. I can honestly say that I don’t text. I just not that good at it. Sausage-like fingers, I guess. And yes, an all out cell ban in vehicles would take some getting used to. But if you truly want to change the way people drive, and eliminate distracted driving, it seems to me a simple choice. Here’s hoping our state lawmakers can get if figured out soon too.