Illinois To Impose Tougher Penalties For Texting While Driving
Starting next July, texting drivers are looking at a moving violation that goes on their driving record.
You can't drive anywhere without seeing multiple people splitting their attention between the road ahead of them and the phone in their hand.
Public service announcements showing the horrible aftermath of a texting-while-driving accident don't seem to be having any effect, nor do the tollway signs that implore you to "put down the phone and drive!"
Well, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) pointed out recently that 25% of crashes reported to police involve distracted driving, some folks in Illinois state government, like Secretary of State Jesse White and Governor Bruce Rauner, were listening.
From NBC Channel 5:
Starting July 1, 2019 drivers caught texting will be issued a moving violation that will go on their driving record. Anyone convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period may have their license suspended.
Under the current law that took effect in 2014 a first offense for texting while driving is a non-moving violation and doesn't affect a person's driving record.
Hopefully, upon learning this, more people will knock off the texting until they're in a safe place off the roads. I'm hoping for a very enthusiastic enforcement of a much-needed change in the law.
If next July's law change doesn't seem to get the desired effect, maybe raising the fines to DUI levels will get some attention and compliance.