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Bloomfield police: More teens being pulled over for distracted driving than adults

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 4:56 PM CDT
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BLOOMFIELD, Iowa (KYOU) - Taking your eyes off the road to look at your phone, even just for a moment, can change your life and someone else’s.

According to the National Highway and Safety Administration in 2019, there were 3,142 lives lost in car crashes involving distracted driving.

In Iowa last year, 945 distracted driving crashes were reported, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Bloomfield Assistant Police Chief Zach Dunlavy says, when driving at 55 miles per hour and taking your eyes off the road, you will drive a football field’s length in five seconds. “That’s just like going down the road with your eyes closed for the length of a football field.”

Dunlavy says the police pull over more teens than adults for distracted driving. The reason for the number of pullovers is most likely due to a law that does not allow anyone 18 years or younger to use their phone while driving. “You know under 18 you can’t use your phone at all. So, you can’t talk on it, you can’t use GPS, you cannot use it at all.”

According to Chad Larue Owner of Right Choice, a company that teaches kids drivers education, the law is taught to driving students, so they know not to use their phones while behind the wheel.

Police going into the schools and speaking to kids about driving safely without their phones is something Dunlavy would like to do; just so students hear the law from the cops.

Even with laws in place, distracted driving still has some people concerned about the safety of others.

One mother, Sabrina Yahnke thinks about the dangers of distracted driving when picking up her child from daycare. She sees all the kids outside waiting to be picked up and thinks about someone looking down on their phone while driving in the school zone. “You don’t want to look down for a second and accidentally hit someone walking home from school or crossing the road on the square.”

If you do need to make that phone call or respond to that text, Dunlavy says to pull over.

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