“It goes without saying that distracted driving is a serious problem on our roads,” Kurtz says. Distracted driving is blamed in large part for the more than 400 traffic fatalities in Iowa last year – up from 320 the previous year.
A new state law takes effect on July 1 making text and app use a primary offense, meaning police can pull over and ticket a driver who is spotted sending a text or email or recording video with their phone. The fine for a texting-while-driving ticket will be $30. Iowa law enforcement officers, through the holiday weekend, will be watching for motorists who aren’t buckled-up. Kurtz says seat belts are proven to save lives.
“National statistics now show that 80 percent of passengers ejected from their vehicles in a crash are killed,” Kurtz said. Around half of all fatal crashes involve drivers who are speeding, according to Kurtz.
“Excessive speed reduces reaction time and increases your stopping distance,” Kurtz said. AAA (Triple-A) Iowa has predicted this will be the busiest Memorial Day weekend for travel in the state in more than a decade.
(Thanks to Doug Broek, KSOU, Sioux Center)