Branstad to Support Banning Use of All Handheld Electronics While Driving

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Governor Branstad says he will now support banning the use of any handheld electronics while driving.

In his Condition of the State address in January, the governor said something needs to be done to cut down on distracted driving in Iowa. On Monday he announced he would support legislation that would allow only hands-free devices to be used while driving.

The governor says distracted driving is a problem, so the state needs to take a big action.

"How do you prove that somebody was texting?" he asked. "They could be looking at this device in their hands and say, 'well, but I wasn't texting,' and so then you can't get a conviction. We had the death toll go up from 315 to over 400. I believe we've gotta take this distracted driving thing seriously. You go down 235 and you see all kinds of distracted drivers. It's a dangerous situation."

Texting while driving is currently a secondary offense for adults in Iowa. This means drivers can be ticketed for it, but only if they are pulled over for another reason.

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