CLIVE, Iowa — It’s mostly against Iowa law to use a phone while driving, and officers drove that point home during a traffic safety operation Friday afternoon.

Plainclothes officers spent six hours surveilling the intersection of Hickman Road and 100th Street on the border of Clive and Urbandale. In that time, they stopped 85 drivers, issued 48 citations, and handed out 78 written warnings.

Officer Adam Jones of the Clive Police Department said most of the stops were for improper use of electronic devices, which includes cellphones, and other drivers were cited for not wearing a seat belt.

“It’s alarming to me to see the results that we achieved,” Jones said. “If we’re able to go out there for such a short period of time and see that many infractions and violations, that shows us it’s a drop in the bucket and the problem is much bigger than people realize.”

Iowa’s current distracted driving law, which you can see here, went into affect in 2017. It states:

  • Drivers can only use phones to talk or navigate with GPS while the vehicle is in the road.
  • Minors can not use any electronic devices, unless the vehicle is stopped and off of the active roadway.
  • Reading, writing, and sending texts are all against the law, unless the vehicle is stopped and off of the active roadway.

One person, 30-year-old Jamaica Gibson, was arrested during the operation for attempting to drive away from a traffic stop without showing identification. She was taken into custody after a pursuit through Clive and charged with eluding. Since there was a young child in the backseat, Gibson was also charged with child endangerment.