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Ask Mr. Answer Person: a reader asks about cell phones and driving

Posted: Fri, Aug 3, 2012 8:10 AM

Vicki writes: It was my understanding that the use of cell phones while driving was illegal. I was shocked this morning while on the Short Street detour to see almost EVERYONE in the oncoming lane was on their phone, with it up to their ears! The Decorah Police Department could make some nice money and keep our streets safer if this is the law!

Mr. Answer Person says: I agree this can be a real hazard, but it is not specifically illegal to use a cell phone while driving in Iowa. You may be confused with the legislation last summer that prohibited TEXTING while driving. And, in reality, only 119 convictions for text messaging have been recorded since the state's distracted driving law went into effect last summer, the Department of Transportation said in June 2012. The State Patrol issued 96 of them, plus another 48 warnings.

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