According to the Distracted Drivers Task Force 2008 Report, “NHTSA estimates that 10% of all Illinois drivers are utilizing their cell phones at any given moment while operating their motor vehicle.” And most recently the State of Illinois has imposed additional penalties for Illinoisans who decide to text and drive.
House Bill 4846 took effect July 1, 2019, and will count first-time incidences of driving while operating a handheld mobile device as a moving violation. Under Illinois state law, moving violations appear on motorists’ driving record, and drivers who receive three in a year are at risk for having their driver’s license suspended. This is a dramatic change compared to previous years when first-time offenses for distracted driving in Illinois were considered non-moving violations.
Fines for Distracted Driving in Illinois
In addition, if a driver is caught engaging in distracted driving in Illinois, first-time offenders will be fined $75 dollars. Any additional violations thereafter would result in an even greater fine, increasing gradually with each violation; $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth offense.
What is Considered a ‘Hand-held Electronic Communication Device’ in Illinois?
- Personal digital assistants
- GPS systems not integrated into the vehicle
When Can You Use a Hand-held Electronic Communication Device in Your Vehicle?
- If you are reporting an emergency situation to communicate with emergency personnel.
- While stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park.
- When parked on the shoulder of the road.
Recent Fatal Crash Statistics for Illinois
Drivers who use cell phones and other hand-held electronic communication devices are four times more likely to be involved in a serious car crash.
- In Illinois there were 854 fatal crashes that occurred in 2018, only a small decrease was reported by the Illinois Department of Transportation (48 fewer than 2017).
- As of November 21, 2019, there have been a reported 827 fatal crashes in Illinois.
Young drivers are most affected by the dangers of distracted driving. In fact, it is estimated that drivers in their twenties make up nearly a third of the distracted drivers who are involved in fatal car crashes. With little over a month left before the new year, it remains to be seen how many more fatal crashes will occur on Illinois roadways.
Top Driver Parent Care Program
Consider registering for our Top Driver Parent Care Program. This two-part program will equip you with strategies you need to keep your teen drivers safe. The Parent Coaching System by Top Driver has been designed to help parents and new drivers combat the top causes of novice driver collisions as reported by the Centers for Disease Control. This course is offered online for convenience.