Posted On: May 20, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Chicago Car Accident Lawyers: Illinois Senate Approves Ban on Text-Messaging and Internet Surfing While Driving

Yesterday, the Illinois Senate approved a ban on text messaging and surfing the Internet while operating a motor vehicle. The measure would still let drivers pull over onto the shoulder of a road to search the Web or send and receive text messages without fear of reprisals from an Illinois law enforcement officer. A motorist would also still be able to use a cell phone for GPS purposes.

While some Illinois lawmakers, such as Sen. Kwame Raoul, are concerned the legislation would give locals cops an excuse to engage in racial profiling when pulling people over, others, including Sen. Martin Sandoval, who sponsored the legislation, says the ban would create safer roads. Text messaging has recently been cited as one of the reasons why car accidents happen.

The legislation now goes to the House for approval. Also on Tuesday, the Illinois Senate approved legislation that banned cell phone use in school zones and construction areas unless the motorist is using an earpieces with the phone.

Illinois Cell Phone Driving Laws
Currently, Illinois lets localities determine their own cell phone driving laws. Chicago has a ban on handheld cell phone use while driving. Statewide, teen drivers younger than age 19 cannot use a cell phone or any other hand-held communication device and drive a vehicle at the same time. School bus drivers cannot use a cell phone while there are children riding the bus.

A new study by Vlingo, the maker of mobile phone speech-recognition technology, found that 26% of people surveyed say they still text while driving even though they know that the habit can lead to fatal motor vehicle accidents. This is just a slight decline from the 28% of drivers that took the survey last year that admitted to text messaging while operating a vehicle. Also, among those surveyed:

• Almost 60% of teen drivers say the text while they drive.
• 49% of 20- to 29-year-olds confessed to texting while in the driver’s seat.
• 13% of drivers in the over 50 age group say the send, receive, and read texts while driving.

Illinois Senate OKs ban on texting or surfing while driving, Chicago Tribune, May 20, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Cell Phone Driving Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association

Driving While Texting Still Popular Despite Bans: Survey, VOXEO, May 20, 2009

Please contact our Chicago Car Accident law firm to discuss your Illinois motor vehicle crash case.

Bookmark and Share

Watch Our Videos

Recent Entries