Gov. Branstad signs 2 Administration priorities into law to make Iowa roads safer

April 17, 2017

Today, at the Administration’s weekly press conference, Gov. Branstad signed two bi-partisan pieces of legislation that aim to make Iowa’s roads safer.  Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Commissioner of Public Safety Roxann Ryan were flanked by local and state law enforcement, as well as advocates and stakeholders who worked on the bills.  The signing ceremony was held at the Oran Pape Building, where the Iowa Department of Public Safety is housed. 


“Last year, Lt. Gov. Reynolds and I tasked a group of law enforcement and stakeholders from across the state to study the disturbing trend of traffic deaths on our roads,” said Branstad.  “I’m pleased with the recommendations they put forward into action.  I want to thank all of the stakeholders and legislators from both sides of the aisle for their hard work in delivering these bills that will make a big impact in improving safety on Iowa’s roads.”


Lt. Gov. Reynolds added, “In his Condition of the State Address this year, Governor Branstad spoke about traffic deaths going from 315 in 2015 to 402 in 2016.   We then challenged the Legislature to take a hard look at recommendations that were put forward to address this troubling trend.  Today’s signing ceremony is a culmination of the many hours of hard work that stakeholders and the Legislature put in to make our roads safer, and I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts.”


The two bills that were signed were:


Senate File 234:  an Act relating to the use of electronic communication devices to write, send, or view electronic messages while driving as a primary offense, and making penalties applicable.  The bill passed the Iowa Senate on March 22, 43-6 and the Iowa House on April 10, 90-6. 


Senate File 444:  an Act relating to public safety on highways, including the use of electronic communication devices while driving where such use results in death and the establishment of a statewide sobriety and drug monitoring program, and providing penalties.  This bill passed the Iowa House on April 6, 90-3 and the Iowa Senate on April 12, 49-0.