DAVENPORT, Iowa — Police in Iowa are calling for state lawmakers to strengthen texting while driving laws.
According to WQAD, investigators say distracted driving, triggered by texting behind the wheel, has led to more 7,000 accidents and 24 deaths in the past decade.
Iowa is one of the last states where using a phone while driving’s just a secondary offense. That means an officer has to pull the driver over for something else first.
According to Iowa Watch, an average of only 2.5 drivers per county were convicted for texting last year.
State Trooper Dan Loussart says, “We have made a lot of progress on intoxicated drivers out there on the road; and when I say progress, there’s less and there’s better enforcement. People are creating better habits and realizing it’s a safety issue,” said Loussart. “Same with seat belts. You know 20-plus years ago, when I first started, there were a lot less people wearing seat belts. Now, those good habits have created a safer environment for all of us, and we realize there’s a problem and we’re making better choices as a society.”