Memorial Day weekend is recognized as the start of the summer vacation season and Iowa State Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz is pleading with motorists to put their phones away and focus on the road.
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Distracted driving is blamed in large part for the more than 400 traffic fatalities in Iowa last year – up from 320 the previous year.
A new state law takes effect on July 1 making text and app use a primary offense, meaning police can pull over and ticket a driver who is spotted sending a text or email or recording video with their phone.
The fine for a texting-while-driving ticket will be $30.
Kurtz says Iowa law enforcement officers, through the holiday weekend, will be watching for motorists who aren’t buckled-up:
Around half of all fatal crashes involve drivers who are speeding, according to Kurtz.
Triple-A Iowa has predicted this will be the busiest Memorial Day weekend for travel in the state in more than a decade.