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An Iowa Senate panel advanced a bill Monday that would only allow hands-free use of cell phones while driving, as lawmakers continue a years-long effort to strengthen the state’s distracted driving laws and improve safety on Iowa’s roads.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, distracted driving caused one in five car crashes in the state in 2021.

Larry Loss of Clive said he was biking last spring when a driver who was looking at their phone cut him off, sending him crashing into a concrete barrier.

“I spent 17 days in the hospital. Had two surgeries. I was off work for two months,” Loss said. “By the way, the driver never stopped. I am in support of this bill.”

Law enforcement officials have been telling lawmakers for years that the state’s current ban on viewing and sending messages while driving is very difficult to enforce.


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