DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa legislature is considering a bill that aims to limit the use of electronic devices while driving.
The Iowa State panel advanced a bill Monday that would only allow hands-free or voice-activated use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.
Supporters say it will help keep Iowan’s safe and more focused while behind the wheel.
The bill would not apply to the one touch it takes to answer and hang up a phone call via a hands-free screen in your car. Also, the bill would harshen fines for accidents caused by distracted driving.
According the the Iowa Department of Public Safety, drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to cause a crash, and using your phone while driving, even just for five seconds to send a text at 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes shut.
In 2021, Iowa Department of Transportation listed that 1,084 crashes were because of drivers being distracted by their phones.
“Well I think it is probably a coming of age, a good idea, because there is a lot of people who are not paying attention all of the time in the car. The only downside would be the expense involved where some cars don’t have the hands free device so you’ll have to put it in. But where its already built in, it’ll be easy enough,” said Steve Sarcone.
“Drivers are distracted, there have been a lot of accidents and a lot of traffic deaths due to distracted drivers. And all ages, not necessarily the young which are more amped to be distracted,” said Anne Williams.
Although Sarcone and Williams admitted that they sometimes use their phone while driving, they both believe the bill will keep Iowa roads safe.