Tougher penalties for texting and driving in Illinois
September 6, 2019

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s egislative initiative strengthening the law on texting while driving took effect July 1. The law cracks down on texting while driving by classifying first-time offenses as moving violations. The previous law treated second and subsequent texting while driving offenses as moving violations, while treating first offenses as nonmoving violations.

“With the increased use of technological devices, distracted driving has become a serious problem on the roads of our state and throughout the nation,” said White. “This important law will make our roads safer. No driver should be texting while driving.”

Violating this law results in a moving violation recorded to the motorist’s driving record as well as fines and court costs determined by a judge. A driver convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period is subject to a driver’s license suspension.

Experts consider texting while driving among the most deadly forms of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motorist traveling at 55 miles per hour takes his or her eyes off the road on average for five seconds when sending or reading a text. This behavior equates to driving blindly for the length of a football field.

Public Act 100-0858, sponsored by state Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago) and state Sen. Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker.

For more information, call (217) 782-5984.