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Illinois Bans Texting While Driving

Beginning Jan. 1, texting while driving officially is banned in Illinois. The state joins 18 other states and the District of Columbia in banning drivers from text messaging while driving.

This bill prevents drivers from sending or reading text messages and e-mails while driving. Drivers caught doing so face a moving violation and fine. The bill also makes it illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving through a construction zone or school speed zone.

The National Safety Council (NSC) praised Illinois legislators for voting to enact House Bill 71.

“Illinois recognizes the importance of distracted driving and is on a mission to stop this dangerous behavior. The state will help save countless lives through this bill,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO. “The National Safety Council commends Governor Quinn and other legislators who backed this bill and helped ensure its passage in our home state.”

Studies show drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in personal injury crashes than other drivers. Most crashes are caused by driver inattention, with cell phone use being the No. 1 distraction.

In January 2009, NSC became the first organization to call for a nationwide ban on all forms of cell phone use while driving, including both hands-free and handheld phones.

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