Texas, Iowa Take Action on Distracted Driving

Resource Type
News Releases

June 6, 2017

Contact: Madison Forker, mforker@ghsa.org
202-789-0942 x120

47 States Now Ban Texting While Driving

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) congratulates Texas and Iowa for taking important steps to combat distracted driving.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed House Bill 62, which prohibits texting while driving in the Lone Star State, becoming the 47th state to pass such a law. The prohibition will go into effect on September 1, carrying a fine of up to $99 for first-time offenders. GHSA applauds Texas for banning this pervasive driver distraction. The Association is thankful for the perseverance of victim advocate organizations such as StopDistractions.org, who have worked for years to advance this through the state legislature.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad recently toughened his state’s ban on texting while driving by making it a primary offense, giving police the ability to pull drivers over if they are spotted writing, sending or reading texts. The fine is $30. In addition, Iowa law enforcement can now add the charge of reckless driving to a vehicular homicide charge if the driver was found to be using a cell phone at the time of the crash. These changes take effect July 1.

Although legislation and enforcement are critical steps in preventing distracted driving, GHSA continues to encourage all drivers to refrain from the use of cell phones or other electronic devices behind the wheel, regardless of existing laws.

GHSA maintains a list of all state distracted driving laws on its website at https://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/distracted%20driving.

#  #  # 

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.