Attention Iowa drivers! New cell phone law goes into effect this week

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By , June 28, 2010 8:44 pm

Starting this Thursday, July 1, a new law designed to cut down on driving distractions goes into effect. The law bans adults from reading, writing, and sending text messages while driving. It also bans drivers under the age of 18 from using any electronic communication device while driving, including talking on the a cell phone.

Violators will face a $30 fine, but that amount could increase if police determine that using a cell phone contributed to an accident that caused injuries. Iowa drivers are being given a chance to adjust to the new law, however. Law enforcement officers will only issue warnings for the first year.

For more perspective on Iowa’s new cell phone law, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier did a recent article on the issue. Or, to see where Iowa ranks in comparison to other states with similar cell phone laws, click here.

Do you think Iowa’s new cell phone law will make a difference? If not, why? Leave a comment, or weigh in on our latest poll:


Highway 63 bicycle accommodations possible, per Iowa DOT plan

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By , June 18, 2010 2:40 pm

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) Commission has recently adopted a 5-year Transportation Improvement Plan, which spells out the priorities for the Iowa DOT from 2011 to 2016. All of the projects in the plan  – including a rehabilitation project along Highway 63 in Waterloo – could have bicycle accommodations, like paved shoulders. Interstate or freeway projects are not included in this list.

The list of projects to be initiated in fiscal year 2011 – including the Highway 63 project – is listed on the Iowa Bicycle Coalition website.

Nick Anderson shares important safety messages with local camp kids

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By , June 16, 2010 1:15 pm

Nick Anderson, spokesperson for Drive Safe Cedar Valley, shared some important safety messages with a younger audience today. He spoke to children attending the Quakerdale Mobile Camp at Hammond Brethren Church in Waterloo about seatbelt, pedestrian and bicycle safety. For more photos, visit the Drive Safe Cedar Valley Facebook page.

You can also listen in below to a YouTube video snippet of Nick chatting with the camp kids.

Centered on safety: rural highway rumble strips aim to reduce crashes

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By , June 14, 2010 3:18 pm

In an effort to reduce rural highway center line crossover crashes, the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) has adopted a policy to include center line rumble strips on certain sections of two-lane highways. According to a recent news release, 18-inch wide grooves will be milled into the center of the road to alert inattentive drivers when their vehicles are about to cross into the opposite lane.

Three test projects for center line rumble strips have already been installed on U.S. 34 in Union County, U.S. 52 in Dubuque County and U.S. 61 in Des Moines County.



RAGBRAI is around the corner!

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By , June 9, 2010 8:00 am

RAGBRAI 2010 will be rolling through Waterloo before you know it! The city will be an overnight stop on Thursday, July 29. It’s important that Cedar Valley drivers are aware of the routes, as thousands of bicyclists will be wheeling their way into and out of town. Are you avoiding certain roads during RAGBRAI? Leave a comment and let us know!

To view the full statewide route map, click here.
To view the Waterloo route map, click here.
To view a map of Waterloo, click here.

Attention downtown drivers – My Waterloo Days kicks off today!

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By , June 3, 2010 4:14 pm

Be extra cautious on the road if you’re heading to downtown Waterloo this weekend. My Waterloo Days, a community-wide, annual festival organized by volunteers to showcase and celebrate Waterloo’s cultural and recreational opportunities, kicks off today in downtown Waterloo! And, that means big crowds, lots of pedestrians and heavier traffic. Stay alert behind the wheel. Don’t drink and drive. Set your cell phone down.

Our lives are in your hands. Let’s make this year’s celebration as safe as possible for everyone!

To view or download maps for this year’s My Waterloo Days parade route, 5k walk/run and more, click here.

Safe Saturdays initiative cracks down on drunken driving

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By , June 3, 2010 8:00 am

Saturdays in June are the deadliest on Iowa’s roadways, according to state data. So, for the second consecutive year, the Iowa State Patrol will be shifting work schedules to add troopers to state highways on Saturday nights through the month of June. Troopers will focus on drunken drivers in the program they’re calling “Safe Saturdays.”

“Last year when we started Safe Saturdays, I was hopeful it would be a good project, positively impacting Iowa,” said Colonel Patrick Hoye, Chief of the Iowa State Patrol. “But the project far exceeded my expectations.  It was so successful ,we’re doing it again in 2010.”

Read the full Iowa State Patrol news release announcing this year’s Safe Saturdays initiative here.

A real eye opener

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By , June 2, 2010 3:03 pm

Everyone’s in a hurry these days. Places to go, people to see, right? But our often hurried lives can carry over to the way we drive – with a dangerous effect. We came across the following YouTube video, which depicts several minutes worth of traffic camera clips of some serious intersection crashes and close calls. We could go on and on about the bad decision-making made by drivers in this video, but we don’t have to. The video speaks for itself. Let’s prevent these types of situations from happening in the Cedar Valley.

Sobering to watch, isn’t it? That brings us to our latest TwtPoll: How do you respond when a traffic light turns yellow? Cast your vote, or leave a comment below. We love feedback!