Rauner-era law banning tech device usage and related distractions while driving takes effect July 1

By Benjamin Cox on June 24, 2019 at 12:33pm

A recent Chicago Tribune story is reminding Illinois citizens of a new rule from Rauner’s administration. Starting July 1st, all drivers in Illinois will face moving violations for texting.

Illinois drivers caught using their cell phones will also soon face harsher penalties that could ultimately lead to a license suspension, per the Chicago Tribune report.

Beginning July 1st, drivers caught using an electronic device will no longer be issued just a warning ticket on their first offense. Instead, drivers will be issued a moving violation.

Getting three moving violations in one year will apparently result in license suspension.

For the first offense, maximum fine is 75 dollars. This increases by 25 dollars: to 100 at the second offense, 125 dollars for a third offense, and a maximum fine of 150 dollars can be charged the fourth time, and for all additional offenses.

This does not apply to law enforcement officers or operators of any emergency vehicle while official emergency response duties are being performed. Also, drivers using electronics to report an emergency and drivers using devices while parked on the shoulder of a roadway will be exempt. Additionally, drivers using a hands-free mode, such as a headset, are exempt.

The first Illinois law to prohibit texting while driving is nearly 10 years old, having taken official legislative action on Jan. 1st, 2010. In 2014, legislators passed a ban on cellphone use without a hands-free device. This latest law was signed last year by former Governor Rauner.

In 2018, State Police issued fifteen thousand, one hundred fifty (15,150) citations for distracted driving, according to an ISP spokeswoman who talked with the Chicago Tribune.

Federal data says 3,166 people died in 2018 nationally due to distracted driving.