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Iowa Bans Driver Texting

April 07, 2010

DES MOINES, IOWA - Iowa has become the 21st state to ban text messaging by all drivers and the 23rd state to ban novice drivers from using any wireless communications device behind the wheel. 

Gov. Chet Culver signed the bill on April 1. The new law goes into effect July 1, the Des Moines Register reported. 

"This is all about keeping our roads safe, and it will benefit everyone," Culver said after signing the bill.

For adult drivers, a violation is considered a secondary offense; police must pull them over for another offense in order to issue a citation for behind-the-wheel texting.

Drivers with intermediate licenses, primarily those under 17, are also prohibited from talking on any hand-held device. Officers can enforce the ban against these drivers as a primary offense.

Kentucky is also poised to soon make texting while driving illegal. Legislators have passed a bill that Gov. Steve Beshear said he'll sign. The law will also ban novice drivers from using cell phones behind the wheel for six months after they get a driver's permit. Penalties will go into effect Jan. 1, 2011. Until then, officers will issue courtesy warnings.

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