Personal Face Put on Efforts to End Distracted Driving

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  On Wednesday a group of Iowans who've lost loved ones to distracted drivers rallied support for a bill they said would save lives at the State Capitol.

The bill under consideration in the Senate would make it illegal to use most handheld electronic devices while driving.  The bill goes beyond just making texting illegal and instead says it's illegal to use any handheld device that sends or receives messages.  That would include making phone calls and checking social media and emails.  The bill does leave exceptions for using a GPS device, checking traffic or weather and emergency communications.

Darrell Harken's daughter was hit and killed by a distracted driver while she was riding her bike along a highway.  He says this bill under consideration would have saved her life.

"So, I just ask today that we would all work together as Iowans to correct this and the governor said several weeks ago in his address", he said, "with new technology comes more responsibility and that needs to be happening and I just ask you that as Grace`s dad."

Linn-Mar High School student Holly Baird also spoke.  She says teenagers are often blamed for distracted driving crashes but she reminds Iowans that it is a problem that doesn't discriminate.

"Most adults more than likely think that texting while driving is okay for them because they`ve been driving for so long"' she said, "but the person that crashed into our friend`s car was a 35-year-old male."

Governor Branstad has said he supports a hands-free while driving bill.