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Bill adds distracted driving to topics required in drivers ed classes

DES MOINES — Drivers education courses are required by state law to include topics like railroad crossing safety as well as four hours of instruction about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The Iowa Legislature has sent the governor a bill that would divide that four hour period between the topics of substance abuse and distracted driving.

“I think it’s a good bill that could very well prevent accidental deaths from auto accidents,” Representative Thomas Gerhold of Atkins said when the bill unanimously passed the House in February.

The Senate approved the bill yesterday without debate. An Iowa DOT report shows that in 2019, nearly 1,100 traffic accidents were caused by a driver who was distracted by a cell phone or other electronic device.

Three people were killed and 538 people were injured in those wrecks linked to distracted drivers.

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