Nebraska could well look to Iowa on how best to crack down on texting while driving.
State Sen. Merve Riepe of Ralston says Nebraska law, which makes texting and driving a secondary offense just hasn’t worked as a deterrent.
“People are becoming more comfortable and familiar with texting and even the use and trying to make every minute count, if you will, so that when they’re in the car they’re driving and talking to someone or calling up someone and I just think it gets to be incredibly dangerous,” Riepe tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Under Nebraska law, a texting driver must be pulled over for a separate offense for an officer to charge the driver with texting. Iowa has upgraded its law to a primary offense, allowing officers to pull a driver over for texting.
Iowa allows cell phones to be used for navigation.
Riepe says such legislation cannot target any one age group.
“Quite frankly, all of us need to understand that if something happens to someone, not only do we have to live with that for the rest of our lives, but we could have a lot of liability that goes with it as well,” Riepe says.
Iowa reports a six-fold increase in texting and driving citations since it upgraded the law.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this article.