I mentioned this in a
recent blog post and The Chicago Tribune, reported the same back in
August that Illinois Governor Quinn has signed a bill banning a hand held cell
phone use for drivers. This new law will take effect on January 1, 2014. Fines
for driving and using a cell phone (talking, texting, emailing, using the
internet) will start at $75. The only cell phone use allowed for drivers is
hands-free technology such as blue tooth devices. The only other exception for cell
phone use will be in the case of an emergency.
many Illinois families have suffered because of accidents that could have been
prevented,” Quinn said in a statement. “Anyone driving a car should be careful,
responsive and alert behind the wheel.”
Quinn also signed a
measure into law that would increase penalties for drivers who injure or kills
others in crashes caused by the use of a cell phone or other electronic device.
Distracted motorists who
harm other drivers would face a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in
fines up to $2,500 and less than a year of jail time. Drivers involved in fatal car accidents could be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries fines up to
$25,000 and up to three years of jail time. That measure also goes into
effect January 1, 2014.
I think we have to take our hats off to the Illinois legislature and Governor Quinn for stepping up to the plate and finally enacting stiffer penalties for those who injure or kill others while texting and driving. I have been calling for this for years and it is good to see that state of Illinois finally take action.