Texting While Driving will become a moving violation next month

From the Daily Herald:

Illinois’ law banning driving and texting is now five years old, and drivers caught violating it will face a stiffer penalty as of July 1.

Scofflaws who text, talk or use any hand-held devices behind the wheel will receive a ticket for a moving violation. Three moving violations in a 12-month period will lead to a license suspension…

To clarify, it’s also illegal to text or talk while holding a device at a stop sign, at a red light or while sitting in traffic.

What if I just take a second to do something with my phone?

Not OK, said Aurora police Sgt. Bill Rowley.

“In the amount of time it takes to simply look down and check a text — if your car is traveling 40 mph — it has already traveled half the length of a football field,” said Rowley, Aurora’s public information officer. That means “if a child runs out on the road, there’s no time to touch your brakes.”

Drivers can pull over on the shoulder, put the car in park and use their devices. Exceptions to the law include reporting an emergency, and if normal traffic is stopped because of an obstruction such as an accident or train — and the car is in park.

Read the entire story here at:  https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20190617/starting-july-1-no-more-free-passes-for-texting-or-holding-your-phone-at-all-and-driving

Penalties may go up for texting and driving in Illinois

From WGEM.com:

There’s a new push in Springfield to cut down on texting and driving. The proposal would increase the penalties for causing a crash while using your phone.

Even though it’s against the law in Illinois to be on your phone and drive, people still do it.

“I’ve seen people text, mostly young people,” said Camp Point, Illinois resident Dave Leezer.

“A lot of times you’ll see them at intersections, looking down at their phones and you can definitely tell they are texting and driving while they’re at the intersections,” said Payson, Illinois resident Janice Huber.

However, a new bill sponsored by Representative Norine Hammond, R- Macomb, would up the penalty for a driver who causes bodily harm to another while distracted.The fine would go from $75 to $1,000, plus a year without a license…

There are some state representatives who think this bill would affect low-income people. making it harder for them to absorb the cost of a $1,000 fine. However, most agreed that the current $75 fine is to low to be a real deterrent for this widespread habit.

The bill now needs a vote on the House floor before it can be reported to the Senate.

A few pointers on how to handle yourself during a traffic stop

Jennifer Walters from the Wall Street Journal’s Marketplace has a good piece about what to do when you are pulled over.  You can read the full story here:  What not to say when pulled over by a cop.

Her main points:

  1. don’t argue;
  2. don’t lie;
  3. no sudden movements;
  4. don’t act weird;
  5. don’t talk about how important you are or who you know;
  6. don’t offer a bribe.

And I will add to that:

  1. remember that you might be on video;
  2. this isn’t the time for jokes;
  3. don’t volunteer having contraband in your car; and
  4. don’t try to run or fight;
  5. if the officer says you are going to be arrested, don’t squirm or try to avoid the handcuffs;
  6. politely refuse all field tests, requests to search your car and breath or similar tests.

Does anyone else have any other suggestions?  Please put them in our comments section.