Troopers now trickier in nabbing texting drivers

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Officers of the Perry Police Department will conduct a traffic-safety project Tuesday focused on distracted drivers.

DES MOINES — The next time you pass an RV on the interstate, you never know who might be inside, watching to make sure you are following the laws.

Driving through a construction zone? The man or woman on the side of the road in construction gear might just be an Iowa State Patrol (ISP) trooper.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s ISP is stepping up surveillance in new and creative ways in an effort to enforce the new distracted-driving law. Motorists are often on the lookout for marked law enforcement vehicles and uniformed officers so that they can quickly put their phone down until they are no longer in sight.

But if motorists think they can get away with texting while driving, they have another thing coming because troopers are finding creative ways to get around this enforcement problem.

The ISP will be working on several special statewide projects over the next few months that will allow Troopers to see texting motorists without the motorist knowing. This is all in an effort to help keep motorists safe.

One such project involves Iowa Department of Natural Resource officers in their trucks looking for texting drivers and reporting them to ISP troopers. Another upcoming project will have plainclothes troopers in an RV looking for drivers who are using their electronic communication devices in an unlawful manner.

You just never know when ISP is watching, so motorists be warned: Put your phones down, and focus on the road!

Trooper Alex Dinkla is the public information officer with the Iowa State Patrol. He can be reached at 515-443-6644.

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