New texting while driving law now in effect

While any form of distraction can be dangerous, texting while driving has become a major issue and prompted state legislators to take action.

Iowa’s new distracted driving law that went into effect July 1, 2017 makes writing, sending or viewing of electronic messages a primary offense. Therefore, penalties are applicable. 

Ogden Police Chief Mick Bailey says this means “you can now be pulled over if seen using your phone for anything other than GPS or making phone calls.” 

If ticketed, the fine will be $30, plus a $10.50 surcharge, plus $60 in court costs, for a total of $100.50.

Under the new law, a motorist cannot use a hand-held electronic communication device to write, send or view an electronic message while driving a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is at a complete stop, off the traveled portion of the roadway.

This does not include a voice-operated or hands-free device which allows the user to write, send or view electronic messages without the use of either hand except to activate or deactivate a function.