New Distracted Driving Law Proposed

Feb 6, 2015

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has proposed legislation that would make hand-held cell phone calls while driving illegal and would make texting while driving a primary offense. 

Dan McGehee is director of the Transportation and Vehicle Safety Research division at the University of Iowa’s Public Policy Center. He says that manipulation of the phone is where the most danger occurs.

"One of the limitations of these so-called 'hands-free' laws is they forget that the majority of the distraction is when you're handling the phone, when you're answering it you have to locate it, it's in your pocket, it's in your purse, and so forth."

He says Iowa is lagging behind other states when it comes to laws concerning phone use and driving. As much as lawmakers try to keep up, technology keeps marching on.

"The Swiss Army Knife of our lives is in our hands, in our pockets, all the time. We're not only doing email, we're doing Instagram, we're doing Snapchat, we're doing Facebook. There's so many different applications, we're looking at the weather, while we drive. Driving, by and large is a fairly boring activity, so we tend to fill in driving with the things that make us more entertained."

In this News Buzz segment of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with McGehee about the science behind texting and driving.