A distracted driving law that went into effect in Iowa a year ago has resulted in over 1,100 tickets for texting and driving, according to a report in the Des Moines Register.
That translates into six times as many tickets issued as compared to the same time period in the prior year. Specifically, the Iowa State patrol issued 1,131 citations in the past 12 months, compared to 182 during the prior 12 months, notes the report.
The new law allows officers to pull motorists over specifically for texting while driving. Previously, they could only issue citations for texting when they were already stopping drivers for a different violation, according to a report on WVIK radio.
A representative of the Iowa State Patrol told WVIK that the department uses basic tactics to catch texting drivers at red lights. The officers stand in the median of a busy intersection and watch and as the drivers pull up to a red light — many immediately pick up their cell phones and start texting.
The fine for texting while driving is $30. Add to that court costs and surcharges estimated at $70.50 per violation, which brings the tally to over $100 per ticket.