To reduce Illinois car accidents, text messaging becoming illegal for Illinois drivers

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The New Year will bring with it a new ban on text messaging for Illinois motorists after Gov Pat Quinn signed a ban this week in an effort to reduce car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

The Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes have been following this issue for months. Earlier this month we blogged about the fact that the Illinois law was one of only about 10 laws passed to combat distracted driving this year. Nationwide, about 170 laws were introduced, according to a study by The New York Times.

Federal statistics suggest more than 4,000 people a day are involved in a car accident because of distracted driving.

“It’s really bad that we have to legislate logic,” said Secretary of State Jesse White, who pushed the measure. “Common sense would tell you that when your eyes are off the road, who’s driving?”

A companion law also makes it illegal to use a cell phone in a school or construction zone unless it is equipped with a hands-free device.

The laws take effect Jan. 1. The Chicago Tribune published the following tips for complying with texting ban come New Year’s Day.

You cannot do the following:

Cannot send a text message, read a text message, send e-mail, use the internet, download ringtones, and/or send an instant message.

You can do the following:

Can continue to use your GPS device, continue to use your cell phone’s GPS device, text if traffic is stopped and your car is in park or neutral, can text if you pull over onto shoulder, and can text if you’re reporting an accident or emergency.

Violators face a fine of $75 and three or more violations in a year could lead to a license suspension.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in an Illinois auto accident, the Chicago car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.