With the new fiscal year that began July 1st that also includes the implementation of several new laws in Iowa. Included in that list are several motor vehicle regulations, such as a ban on text messaging while driving, prohibited cell phone use by drivers age 17 and under and a new law that states all passengers under 18 must wear a seatbelt regardless of where they are sitting in the vehicle. Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada says his department will be enforcing this new laws as best they can. He says the seatbelt law is a primary offense and tickets will be issued beginning today. The texting and phone use by minors law however, includes a one year warning period, meaning no tickets will be issued for violation until after June 30th 2011.
In addition, several fines will be increased as well. According to Losada those include an increase of approximately $30 for speeding tickets, and obstructed windshield fines will jump from $15 to $50 beginning today.