Omaha, Neb. — A Nebraska lawmaker says Iowa’s strengthening of a ban on texting while driving could be a model for legislation after years of unsuccessful legislative efforts to crack down on distracted driving.
State Sen. Merv Riepe, an Omaha area Republican, says Iowa shows how enforcement can be increased. The Iowa State Patrol says citations for texting while driving have increased sixfold in the past year since Iowa lawmakers allowed officers to begin pulling over drivers for texting.
Nebraska is one of four states that ban texting but require a second traffic violation for an officer to stop a motorist.
Iowa legislators strengthened a ban on texting in 2017 in a bipartisan bill that extended the ban on using smartphones while driving to include social media and games. Iowa lets drivers use phones for navigation.