Distracted Driving Law Increasing Penalties July 1, 2019

The distracted driving law for Illinois is changing effective July 1, 2019. Among the changes to the distracted driving law is that the penalties will increase. Here are the changes to the fines:

Fines for the distracted driving ticket will be a maximum of $75 for the first offense; $100 for the second offense; $125 on the third offense; and $150 for all future citations.

As well, the distracted driving citation will be a moving violation.

These changes are being made as distracted driving remains a substantial traffic safety problem. Various statistics, as well as driver surveys, indicate that this distracted driving problem remains a primary traffic safety issue.

Recently, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office performed an enforcement campaign for illegal use of cellphones. That enforcement campaign, and its results, are discussed in the May 3, 2019 Lake County News-Sun article titled “Almost 200 ticketed for illegal cellphone use during Lake County crackdown on distracted driving.” An excerpt for the article:

Authorities said studies have shown driving while texting or involved in other activities has been found to be as dangerous as driving impaired.

On this site, many aspects of distracted driving is discussed on the “Distracted Driving Accidents And Injuries” page.

As seen on that page, there are many types of driver distraction. However, the foremost type of driver distraction – and one that is of paramount concern – are those associated with cellphone use. Driver distraction due to cellphone use includes texting while driving as well as other cellphone use that causes driver inattention.

Accidents with injuries often occur due to cellphone use while driving. While official NHTSA distracted driving statistics indicate substantial injuries and deaths due to driver distraction, many people feel that these statistics understate the number of accidents caused by driver inattentiveness.

Among the reasons that distracted driving accidents cause serious injuries is that such crashes often occur at higher speeds. As well, loss of vehicle control can occur.

Among the most dangerous situations is when driver inattentiveness leads to the vehicle crossing the centerline, which can lead to a “head-on collision.”