Is the Texting While Driving Law Loophole Legit?
The new Iowa law that prohibits the use of an "electronic device while driving" is coming under closer scrutiny with some ticketed offenders insisting they were using their phones within the legal exceptions of the rule.
It could become the great "what if" question. For example, what if you were ticketed for looking at your phone while driving because of an incoming Amber Alert notification?
It's that exact argument that is creating debate over the texting-while-driving law currently on the Iowa books.
According to the Des Moines Register, that's what happened to Heather Hughes who was stopped at a red light in Urbandale, as an alert sounded on her cell phone. She took her phone out of her purse and turned off the alert. That's when a police officer nearby saw the phone's glow and pulled Hughes over. She was ticketed for “use of electronic communication device while driving," but later beat the ticket in court with her explanation of what happened.
While the Iowa State Patrol have issued two-thirds of the 1,743 citations handed out to motorists during the first 12 months of the new texting-while-driving law, only a few of Iowa’s nearly 400 other law enforcement agencies have issued citations for the offense. In fact, the Register review showed that no citations were issued for texting and driving in 12 of Iowa's 99 counties."
The argument basically boils down to mean "we need more clarification". As in "we, the police" need to listen more closely to an offender's reasoning so that police can better judge the merit of their argument.
Or maybe it's a case of discretion - in this case, the discretion of the arresting officer who may or may not otherwise have issued a ticket for the offense.
[source: Des Moines Register]