Jointly with the Governor’s Office, the Departments of Transportation and Public Safety launched the “Curb It-Click It” campaign in an effort to make Iowa’s roads safer. This campaign comes as a result of two bills passed by the Legislature: banning texting while driving and the youth seatbelt law.
Detailed information about Iowa’s seatbelt and texting laws can be found at www.iowadot.gov/CurbItClickIt
Curb It – Texting Ban
Curb It refers to the texting ban for drivers of all ages and a ban on electrical entertainment devices for youth drivers. The message that the Departments of Transportation and Public Safety want to send is that reading or writing a text can wait until you are at your destination, or until you can pull the car over safely. These bans were passed in House File 2456.
• Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using an electronic mobile device or an electronic entertainment device. Exceptions are if the car is at a complete stop off the traveled portion of the roadway, or the electronic entertainment device is permanently installed in the vehicle or is operated through permanently installed equipment. This ban applies to persons with the following licenses and permits: a restricted license for a person between 16 and 18 years who is not enrolled in school, an instruction permit, an intermediate license, and a special minor’s license (also known as school permit).
• Drivers 18 years and over are prohibited from using a hand-held electronic communication device to read, write, or send a text message. They may use the device to make and receive phone calls, and the ban does not apply if the car is at a complete stop off the traveled portion of the roadway. The following individuals are exempted from the ban: a member of a public safety agency performing official duties, a health care professional in the course of an emergency situation, and a person receiving safety-related information including emergency, traffic, or weather alerts.
While the bans on both age groups became law on July 1, 2010, warnings will be issued until July 1, 2011. At that time citations will be issued, which are $30. Higher fines and possible suspension of license will be issued if the driver violates the ban and gets into an accident that results in a serious injury or death.
Click It – Youth Seat Belt Law
Click It references the youth seatbelt law (Senate File 2381), which requires all kids under the age of 18 to buckle up, no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle. If the youth is at least 14 years and not wearing a seatbelt, they will get the ticket, not the driver. Violations are a $100 scheduled fine. Previous law said that youth at least 6 years, but under 11 years, must use either a child safety seat or a seat belt.
While Iowa’s seatbelt usage rate is at 93%, it is lower for teenagers. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that six out of ten children who died in passenger vehicles were not belted.