Police will pull drivers over for texting, driving starting July 1
In just three days, law officers will also be able to pull over drivers just for texting behind the wheel.
Some authorities said this law is going to be difficult to enforce. One officer said it’s tough to tell from another car exactly what a person is doing on their phone, whether they are in fact texting or just dialing a number to call someone, but it’s a start.
“In the past, we’d have to have another reason to pull the car over, and sometimes it’s hard to find a perfect reason to pull a car over for that secondary offense,” said Officer Kyle Nicholson with the Coralville Police Department.
Just like one driver who got pulled over for having a broken brake light. It also appeared that she was texting but it wasn’t enough for a ticket. Nicholson said he couldn’t write her up because he couldn’t prove with 100 percent certainty that she was texting. Still, he said it’s best not to risk getting a ticket – or worse.
“Everyone knows somebody who’s lost somebody from texting and driving. I can think of at least two people off the top of my head right now that have been directly impacted by a family member or a relative or close friend that’s died from a texting and driving accident,” said Nicholson.
Other drivers agree there are loopholes with the new law.
“It will be tough to enforce, but it’s still a deterrent. I think a lot of people are really obvious and they hold their phone right in front of their face,” said Amanda Houseal of Iowa City.
“I think the big deal is, too, that you never want to be the one that caused that accident,” said Jennifer Moore of Iowa City.
The new law prohibits texting, email, browsing and games. It’s all part of the effort to reduce distracted driving.
“In my opinion, there’s no text message that’s important enough to risk your life, let alone who else’s life, on the road,” said Nicholson. “Put that phone in your pocket, turn it off, put it in the glove box, whatever you gotta do.”
Drivers are still allowed to use the GPS function on their phones for directions, but police say drivers should set their destination before starting to drive.