The focus of the quality of life initiative for the month of April will be texting while driving. This violation is a secondary offense in Iowa. This means an officer can’t stop a vehicle solely because the driver is texting. The officer has to have another, or primary, reason to stop a vehicle before a person can be cited for texting while driving.However, a novel approach is going to be utilized to inform and educate the motoring public in regard to this serious issue. Personnel from both Waterloo Fire Rescue and the Waterloo Police Department, whether on or off duty, are being asked to watch for drivers who are texting while driving. They will then make note of the vehicle license plate, as well as a description of the vehicle. The registered owner of the vehicle will then receive a letter advising them of the violation. It is our hope that owner of the vehicle will take action to ensure that this behavior does not continue. All too often, our police officers and firefighters are responding to accidents that have likely been caused by someone who was texting while driving.
If a person were to get cited for texting while driving, the amount of the citation would be $102.35. If a person causes a serious accident due to texting while driving, they could be fined an amount up to $1,000.00.
Daniel J. Trelka, Director of Safety Services