Hundreds of Citations Issued for Texting While Driving

CLIVE, Iowa -- The state law that bans texting while driving and makes it a primary offense has been in effect since July 1st, but apparently, not everyone got the memo.

Marnie Combe says she tries not to hold her phone up to where it's visible when she texts while behind the wheel.  And, she says she's not the only one who engages in the dangerous behavior.

"I look around and see, I mean everyone`s on their phone," said Combe. "Some people don`t even try to hide it. They even have their phone up here while they`re driving."

That may well be true. The problem is, texting while driving is illegal.

"I`ve heard that they won`t pull you over for it by itself, that they have to, you know, have some other reason to pull you over," said Combe.

That's actually not accurate. The new law makes texting while driving a primary offense.

"Well, I mean, there`s all kinds of distractions when you`re, now that people are on the go so much more, people are eating in their car, they`re doing all kinds of stuff in their car, so it`s hard to tell where to draw that line," said Combe.

Lawmakers have drawn that line at the point in which drivers text while driving.

Other drivers we spoke with applaud the new law.

"I think it`s really good idea," said Alaina Taylor. "I mean, obviously texting and driving is a really big problem and especially within all the high schoolers, it will help if there`s something, a risk of punishment and maybe make it more aware of the danger it can bring."

"I`m glad they passed the law," said Sam Holman. "I know it will be a tough habit for some to break, but I`m glad it`s there."

Marnie Combe isn't as enthusiastic.

"Isn`t that kind of, gonna be hard to tell which one you`re doing though?" said Combe. "That`s where I`m just wondering how they`re gonna prove that."

There are ways.

"It goes back to paying attention to details, looking at their law enforcement training," said Todd Olmstead with the Iowa Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau, a subdivision of the Iowa Department of Public Safety. "It`s pretty obvious, as we`ve all seen, as I think drivers out there, when someone has got their head down in their phone and scrolling through it, or obviously texting with their thumbs, as opposed to just making a phone call."

On Friday, as part of a traffic enforcement project, police officers will increase their presence in Clive and surrounding areas in Central Iowa, and they will be paying close attention to the unsafe use of electronic communication devices.