Putting the brakes on distracted driving

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FOREST CITY, Iowa- Many people have busy schedules and are always on the go. Spending a lot of time behind the wheel can come with some challenges.

Forest City Police and Bennett Driveaway held a distracted driving program at First Baptist Church parking lot Thursday to show how to deal with potentially dangerous distractions. Forest City Police officer Dustin Buck said distracted driving is a key part of many accidents that happen on the roadways.

Buck said people participating in the program will drive a golf cart through an obstacle course, using one hand to read and the other to steer the wheel. From orange cones to balls thrown at the golf cart representing children or animal that can come out of nowhere, Buck said it shows anything can happen in a split second when a driver is not paying attention.

Buck recommends simply pulling over to safe spot, if drivers need to check their phone. He said it might take a few extra minutes but it could be a life-saving stop.

“Changing a radio station, even looking down for a split second to do that seriously delays reaction times to some sort of hazard on the road way,” said Buck.

Participate Joani Worthy said the program makes a person a lot more aware that texting is a dangerous when behind the wheel.

“I missed a cone, I missed a turn,” said Worthy. “I missed the child play thing, it could be a major accident.”

In Iowa, it’s against the law to use a cell phone for drivers of all ages who have restricted or intermediate licenses. In Minnesota, all cell phone use is banned for bus drivers and those under the age of 18 with a learner’s permit or provisional license.

Both states have laws banning texting and driving for all ages.

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