The new iPhone 4S is making it possible for motorists to legally text while driving in Iowa. The Department of Public Safety says Iowa’s ban on texting while driving does not apply to Siri, Apple’s new virtual assistant.
Features like Siri or any of the similar voice-command applications let users tell their phone what to text. Captain Mike Winter is with the Iowa State Patrol.
“We do have a law banning texting while driving, however if you do have a handheld electronic device that’s voice operated and hands-free, which allows you to either write, read or sent a text message without using either hand, you can use that device in your vehicle,” Winter explained.
Motorists so be aware, however, once they pick up the phone to check spelling or dictation, they’re no longer hands-free and in violation of the ban. An exemption to the texting ban notes sending a text message through voice command is allowed, so long as you only touch the phone to turn that feature on and off.
“As long as you’re hands-free, you’re okay,” Winter said. “There’s an exemption in the law which lets you activate or deactivate a feature or function on that kind of device.” Motorists caught texting while driving in Iowa can face a $30 fine, but with court costs added, the full bill could be $100.