Fiscal Services Division
SF 547 – Distracted Driving (LSB1071SZ)
Staff Contact: Maria Wagenhofer (515.281.5270) firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiscal Note Version – New
Senate File 547 prohibits any use of an electronic device while Single Citation — SF 547
driving. The Bill defines an electronic device as a device that is Penalty $ 100.00
powered by electricity, including by a battery, that is capable of
Surcharge (15.0%) 15.00
composing, sending, receiving, or reading messages and
Court Cost 55.00
storing, retrieving, or displaying videos, movies, or images.
Total $ 170.00
Use of an electronic device includes but is not limited to
holding, viewing, or manipulating an electronic device. Under the Bill, use of an electronic
device would be a moving violation. The Bill increases the scheduled fine for this violation from
$45 to $100. A moving violation can be considered for purposes of administrative suspension of
a driver’s license or to establish habitual offender status.
The Bill allows use of an electronic device under the following circumstances:
• Use if the vehicle is at a complete stop off the roadway or as far away from the center of the
roadway if the vehicle cannot be entirely removed from the traveled portion of the roadway.
• Use in voice-activated or hands-free mode.
• Use by members of a public safety agency performing official duties.
• Use by health care professionals in the course of emergency situations.
• Use to receive safety-related information.
• Use to report an emergency situation, including maintaining communication with emergency
personnel during the emergency situation, or public transit personnel responding to a
• Use by persons operating an implement of husbandry.
• Use by certain radio operators.
• Use by members of a public transit system performing official duties in a vehicle that is not in
• Use by a utility maintenance employee or contractor using an electronic device while in a
utility maintenance vehicle for the purpose of providing utility services.
• Use by a transportation network company driver engaged in a prearranged ride, provided
the vehicle is not in motion.
• Use by a person to access or use a fleet management system.
A peace officer is required to issue a warning memorandum in lieu of a citation for violations that
occur during the period between July 1, 2023, the effective date of the Bill, and January 1, 2024.
Current law prohibits the use of hand-held electronic Single Citation — Current Law
communication devices to write, send, or view electronic Penalty $ 45.00
messages while driving a motor vehicle. The fine for this Surcharge (15.0%) 6.75
violation is currently $45. The violation is not considered a Court Cost 55.00
moving violation. Persons under the age of 18 are currently Total $ 106.75
prohibited from using an electronic communication device
while driving a motor vehicle (Iowa Code section 321.178). Convictions under Iowa Code
section 321.276 for using an electronic communication device while driving a motor vehicle
totaled 1,311 in FY 2022 and 1,458 in FY 2021.
Under Iowa Code section 602.8106(4)(b), scheduled fine revenue for a State law violation is
distributed as follows: 91.0% to the State and 9.0% to the general fund of the county in which
the violation occurred. For the State share of citations, 1.3% is distributed to the Emergency
Medical Services (EMS) Fund and 98.7% is distributed to the State General Fund.
In addition to the scheduled fine, a Crime Services Surcharge, equal to 15.0% of the fine, and a
$55 fee for court costs are also imposed. The Crime Services Surcharge is remitted to the
State Court Administrator and is distributed as follows: 46.0% to the Juvenile Detention Home
Fund; 32.0% to the Victim Compensation Fund; 20.0% to the Criminalistics Laboratory Fund;
and 2.0% to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Fund. The fee assessed for court
costs is deposited into the State General Fund.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) State Cellphone Use While
Driving Laws dashboard, 24 states currently prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cellphones
• The number of Iowa citations under current law for FY 2023 is estimated to total 1,385,
which is similar to the average number of citations over the previous two years.
• The State of Indiana was utilized as a benchmark as the State enacted a law for hands-free
devices beginning in July 2020. Between 2021 and 2022, the State averaged 5,966
violations per year excluding formal warnings. Indiana has 4.5 million drivers. Indiana’s
citation rate (excluding warnings) was 131.6 per 100,000 licensed drivers.
• It is estimated there will be an increase in annual convictions under SF 547 for using an
electronic device while driving. Iowa has 2.3 million drivers. It is assumed that the number
of annual citations issued under SF 547 will total 2,986, which is similar to the rate of
citations issued annually in Indiana from 2021 to 2022. However, the estimated number of
citations issued during FY 2024 will total 1,493 as a result of the requirement in SF 547 that
warning memorandums be issued in lieu of citations in the first half of FY 2024.
• The collection rate for scheduled violations is estimated at 58.0%.
Senate File 547 is estimated to increase State General Fund revenue by $7,000 in FY 2024 and
increase revenue by $212,000 per year beginning in FY 2025 compared to estimated FY 2023.
Revenue may increase in future years if fewer warnings are given in lieu of tickets. The fiscal
impact on other funding sources and the counties is shown in Table 1.
Table 1 — Estimated Revenue, Current Law vs SF 547
Current Law FY 2024 vs FY 2025 vs
Est. FY 2023 FY 2024 FY 2023 FY 2025 FY 2023
Penalty Revenue $ 32,971 $ 78,983 $ 46,012 $ 157,966 $ 124,995
Court Fee 44,867 48,366 3,499 96,731 51,864
Subtotal $ 77,838 $ 127,349 $ 49,510 $ 254,697 $ 176,859
Juvenile Detention $ 2,533 $ 6,068 $ 3,535 $ 12,135 $ 9,602
Victim Compensation 1,762 4,221 2,459 8,442 6,680
Crime Lab 1,101 2,638 1,537 5,276 4,175
DARE 110 264 154 528 417
Subtotal $ 5,506 $ 13,191 $ 7,684 $ 26,381 $ 20,875
County General Funds $ 3,304 $ 7,914 $ 4,611 $ 15,829 $ 12,525
EMS Fund 434 1,040 606 2,081 1,646
Total $ 87,083 $ 149,494 $ 62,411 $ 298,988 $ 211,905
Department of Transportation
Department of Human Rights, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Division
National Conference of State Legislatures
State of Indiana
Federal Highway Administration
/s/ Jennifer Acton
March 21, 2023
Doc ID 1370773
The fiscal note for this Bill was prepared pursuant to Joint Rule 17 and the Iowa Code. Data used in
developing this fiscal note is available from the Fiscal Services Division of the Legislative Services
Agency upon request.
Introduced: 321.178, 321.180B, 321.210, 321.238, 321.276, 321.482A, 321.482, 805.8A