U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.
March 27, 2023
DES MOINES, Iowa - April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. April 3-10, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is partnering with law enforcement across the state to help curb the epidemic of distracted driving.
In 2022, 9,201 crashes on Iowa roadways were because of distracted/inattentive drivers. These accidents are responsible for 20 deaths, 3,652 injured persons, and over $81 million dollars in property damage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 32,483 people died in distraction-affected crashes across the country from 2011 to 2020.
In Iowa, distracted driving is a primary law which means law enforcement officers can stop any driver who is texting (reading, writing, or sending) or using any portable electronic device, unless the motor vehicle is at a complete stop and off the traveled portion of the roadway.
Sergeant Alex Dinkla with the Iowa State Patrol says, “Distracted driving is a leading cause of vehicle crashes on Iowa’s roads, and most of this distraction is attributed to using electronic devices. People know texting and driving is dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, and it puts others at risk.” Video here.
Beginning April 3, drivers will see increased law enforcement efforts. Officers will be stopping and ticketing those found texting and driving. 'U Drive. U Text. U Pay.'
The GTSB encourages drivers to use hands free options when engaging a mobile device in their vehicle. Drivers can also limit distractions by enabling the ‘driving’ focus on phones.
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau works with city, county, state, and local organizations to develop and implement strategies to reduce deaths and injuries on Iowa’s roadways using federally funded grants.
Access Distracted Driving Assets here.
Source: Iowa Crash Analysis Tool, National Highway Traffic Safety Association
ABOUT THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.