Before you jump behind the wheel to head to work or to vacation, be sure you know about the new law that is designed to keep you safe on the road. As of July 1, Illinois is cracking down on one way drivers are distracted daily: texting.

Texting while driving is dangerous, though it has taken lawmakers years to catch up with the trend. In 2014, a texting while driving offense was considered a non-moving violation that did not go on the driving record. However, as of July, if you are caught using cell phones while driving, you will get fined and it will count as a moving violation on your driving record.

This new law was signed last year, in August of 2018, with the hopes it would discourage drivers from picking up their phone while driving. Distracted driving has been attributed to up to nine deaths each day, with more and more drivers choosing to quickly scroll on their phone when they should be focused on the task of driving.

Illinois lawmakers are hoping this new law will have positive effects on driver safety and decrease distracted driving habits. If you are caught using your cell phone while driving, you will get a $75 fine and a ticket for a moving offense. Penalties will then increase for subsequent violations.  This citation will go on your driving record, which could lead to increased motor insurance rates or even problems with your driving privileges. Three moving violations in one year, including texting or using your phone while driving, will lead to license suspension.

While you are driving, put your phone down and stay alert on the road. If you find you are involved in an accident and suspect distracted driving from others involved, be sure you contact the team at O’Brien Law. We have extensive experience working with cases involving distracted driving and have advocated on behalf of our clients to insurance companies to assure a favorable outcome.

Stay safe out there.