Backers of a bill that would require us to keep our hands off of our cell phones while driving hope this is the year the bill becomes law. Iowa State Patrol Captain Todd Bailey says one out of five traffic deaths in the past five years can be linked to a distracted driver.

A senate subcommittee has advanced a bill that would require any smart phone use inside a vehicle to be in hands-free or in voice activated mode. It’s currently illegal to text while driving in Iowa, but there’s no ban on talking on your phone, downloading music, watching videos or playing games. Larry Loss of Clive told lawmakers he was critically injured while bicycling last May, by a driver who was paying more attention to his phone than what was on the street in front of him.

According to insurance industry lobbyists, states that ban motorists from using electronic devices while driving have experienced a 15 percent reduction in traffic fatalities.

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