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Iowa Outlaws Texting While Driving

Iowa lawmakers have joined twenty-eight other state legislatures and the District of Columbia in outlawing texting while driving. Iowa Code Section 321.276 now makes it illegal to use a hand-held electronic communication device to write or send a text message while driving a motor vehicle. The statute notes, however, that “A person is not writing or sending a text message message when using a global positioning system or navigation system or when, for the purposes of engaging in a call, the person selects or enters a telephone number of name in a hand-held mobile telephone or activates, deactivates, or initiates a function of a hand-held mobile telephone.” How a peace officer will be able to tell someone is texting, as opposed to operating a GPS application is anyone’s guess. The fine is $30 and will not be considered a moving violation.

Brett Trout

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