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home : opinion archive : the agenda July 9, 2014

Should Iowa ban texting while driving and/or cell phone use in cars and trucks?
Staff Reports

The Iowa Legislature is likely to consider so-called "distracted driving" in the 2010 session.

Potential laws could range from banning texting by teen drivers to a complete prohibiton on texting while driving.

Lawmakers could go further, as six states have, and ban cell-phone use altogether in motor vehicles.

have shown drivers are at much greater risk for accidents when texting or talking on a cell phone. The Portland Oregonian just days ago carried a story reporting that talking on the phone while behind the wheel is as dangerous as driving drunk. The Omaha World-Herald this week carried an in-depth piece on how Iowa and Nebraska may handle distracted driving.

What do you think? Should the state ban texting for all drivers or just teens? Or should Iowa go further and ban all cell phone use in motor vehicles, even hands-free devices? Or should government simply stay out the matter and accept cell phone use as a way of life with its attendant beneifts and risks? Have you had any bad experiences with cell phone use on the road?

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010
Article comment by: Ryan McAlister

You might not believe it, but there was a time before traffic laws when people self-governed a bit. See how people managed in San Francisco in 1906. Not too shabby.

Posted: Saturday, June 19, 2010
Article comment by: Nan Heidt

Holly said "A law *mandating* safety common sense is ridiculous"

What's wrong with this picture? People should know how fast/slow they should go, so we can also do away with speed limits? Drivers' licenses and permits? Drunk driving enforcement? After all, these are safety issues that involve a modicum of common sense.
I am not for new laws, but I do think something needs to be implemented that would prevent the driver's use while the car is in motion.

Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010
Article comment by: Ryan McAlister

We do not need good laws to restrain bad people, but good people to restrain bad laws.
-G. K. Chesterson

Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010
Article comment by: Ryan McAlister

Holly Vogel gets it!

What ever happened to self-reliance, common sense, and personal responsibility?

(Sarcasm alert) Yes, let's also ban radios in cars because there is evidence that many automobile wrecks are due to the radio or cd player becoming a distraction.

There are real statistics that state over 2,000 people DIE every year from slipping on tile floors. Lets ban tile floors too.

How about we just ban EVERYTHING, and a government department, or group of 'experts' can take each of us on a case by case basis, and decide what each of us should be allowed to do, since apparently people no longer think freedom works.

This country was made great through the ideals of INDIVIDUALISM, not COLLECTIVISM.

Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2010
Article comment by: Jackie Reineke

I believe texting should be banned while driving. I do think that "hands free" talking on the cell phone would solve a lot of problems.

Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Article comment by: Joe Weitl

Don't regulate the use of Cell Phones. The failure to maintain control of your car is sufficient for that . Let the insurance companies take care of that with higher premiums for those involved in accidents where a phone is used and distracted the driver. If the premium gets high enough it may take these drivers off the road because they can't afford the premiums. Hit them in the pocket book.

Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Article comment by: Holly Vogel

A law *mandating* safety common sense is ridiculous. It disgusts me people can't see that lawmakers have now made people believe they need to have their hand held - while slyly taking away the small personal freedoms that make America truly great. Although this may seem like a huge overreaction, I see laws and bills proposed that run along the same lines as this at an alarming pace. WAKE UP!

Posted: Friday, January 8, 2010
Article comment by: Loretta Hansen

Yes, they should be banned. Also talking on a cell phone while turning a corner.

Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Article comment by: larry venteicher

I have been rear ended by a person on a cell phone, waited for a car to go because of cell phones, almost run over because the light turned red and they weren't paying attendtion because the call must have been to important. YES they should be banned, fines doubled and they're phone be disconnected for a period of time for second offenders.

Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Article comment by: Jeff McCarville

Yes, texting and cell phone use should be banned. It is long over due.

Posted: Monday, January 4, 2010
Article comment by: Bryan Mack

Only if they also ban putting on makeup in the car, adjusting the radio in the car, eating in the car, having dogs running around the car while not in a cage, lighting a cigarette in the car, or looking to your right to talk to the person in the passenger seat while driving. Seems pointless to ban just one thing that distracts. Maybe make a law requiring 2 hands on the wheel at all times? If this law were created, where would it stop?

Posted: Friday, January 1, 2010
Article comment by: John Wheatley

OF COURSE texting and talking on a cell phone while driving should be banned....It's long overdue, everywhere in the country!

Posted: Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Article comment by: Pam Jones

Yes, texting and talking on a cell phone should be banned while driving. My niece has twice put her car in the ditch because she was trying to text while driving. Just today I had a semi trailer pull out in front of me because either my car was invisible or the conversation he was involved in on the cell phone had him so engrossed he didn't see me. Good thing I have quick reflexes and good brakes or I would have been toast.

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