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Iowa's Texting Ban Moves Forward

February 25, 2010, 5:55 PM by Don Jorgensen

Iowa's Texting Ban Moves Forward
ROCK RAPIDS, IA - Iowa could become the next state to crack down on texting while driving. The state senate passed a bill that bans texting while driving, including an amendment that includes reading text messages as well as sending them. 

Iowans we talked with say it's about time.

Sara Delfs admits she used to text while driving, but a frightening experience brought that to a screeching halt. 

"I actually had somebody come in my lane one time and it looked like they were texting and I have two little kids so I try not to do any of that," Delfs said.

Joan Saeger agrees and has seen first-hand how dangerous it is. 

"Our grandson got ran into in Sioux Falls by someone who was texting.  I think they do that stuff too much," Saeger said. 

"I think it's a no brainer! Why would we let someone text and drive, I don't know.  I think that's really stupid," Shirley Roach said.

Roach hopes it passes in Iowa and sends a clear message to other states. 

"I think about South Dakota with 14-year-old kids driving and texting, whoopie," Roach said.

According to the bill in Iowa, no tickets would be issued the first year. After that, drivers caught sending or reading a text message would face a $30 fine. 

The bill that currently is being debated toughens the penalties even more if you're involved in an accident that results in injury or even death.

The fines would be $500 for texting and $1,000 for reading a text, plus their driver's license could be suspended as well.  That would be fine with the motorists we talked to in Rock Rapids, Iowa. 

"I don't think it's a good thing they should get a ticket for that," Saeger said.

The bill passed in the senate by a vote of 44-6 and now returns to the House for further debate.

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