House & Senate endorse compromise texting ban

The Iowa House and Senate have both endorsed a compromise plan that will make it illegal for adults to read, compose or send text messages while you’re driving on an Iowa road.  However, police will not be able to pull you over solely for the offense of texting while driving.  The cop would have to see you doing something else, like driving over the speed limit, before he or she may pull you over.

There are exceptions to the proposed texting ban for truckers who get directions via text while they’re driving.  That prompted Representative Greg Forristall to question whether it was safer to be reading a text while you’re driving a truck or while you’re driving a mini cooper at 70 miles an hour.  Representative David Tjepkes, a retired state trooper, called the bill a “worthwhile public safety effort.”

The bill is even stricter for most drivers under the age of 18 as it will not be illegal for them to use any handheld electronic device while they’re driving — so no more cell phone conversations with your BFF while you’re on your way home from school.

The House passed the conference committee report on the texting bill on a 66-33 vote.  It now goes to the senate, which is expected to endorse it, too.  (The House would not go along with Senate changes to the bill, and the Senate wouldn’t go along with the House version of the bill, so a “conference committee” of House and Senate members was appointed to come up with a compromise.  That compromise, called a “conference committee report,” is what just cleared the House.) The Senate endorsed the bill on a 37-12 vote.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.