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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

If you’re reading this while you are driving, you’re part of the problem.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. April 1-8, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) is partnering with law enforcement across Iowa to curb the alarming and unsafe trend of distracted driving. To deter multitasking while driving, GTSB is launching a new campaign targeting overconfident drivers and reminding everyone: No One is a Good DISTRACTED Driver.  

Distracted driving is a primary law in Iowa, meaning law enforcement can stop any driver who is texting (reading, writing, or sending) or using any portable electronic, device unless the motor vehicle is at a complete stop off the traveled portion of the road.

In a 2023 GTSB State Fair survey of over 1,450 Iowans, 51% admitted to always or sometimes driving with a cell phone in hand. Based on the number of registered drivers in Iowa, that translates to over 1.2 million distracted drivers. Law enforcement is cracking down on distracted driving. In 2023, over 9,000 drivers were issued citations for illegal use of an electronic device while driving compared to 1,438 in 2022.

“When talking with Iowa drivers, a common sentiment is believing they can manage many things behind the wheel,” says GTSB Bureau Chief Brett Tjepkes. “During one focus group, a participant said they drive better when texting because it forces them to pay attention to the road. This is ridiculous and not true. Driving requires our full attention. The reality is, No One is a Good DISTRACTED Driver.”

Beginning April 1, motorists will see increased law enforcement efforts to educate those found illegally using an electronic device. To limit distractions, GTSB encourages drivers to enable the ‘driving’ focus feature on their phone and use hands free features.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau works with city, county, state, and local organizations to develop and implement strategies to reduce deaths and injuries on Iowa’s roadways using federally funded grants.

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