A Chicago car accident lawyer at our firm read an interesting article earlier today posted on DailyHerald.com. According to the report, members of the House of Representatives voted today to officially ban talking on a cellular phone while driving without a hands-free device. With a majority vote of 62-53 – including favorable votes from Illinois House members, the proposed ban will enter the Senate for further debate.
The regulation would ultimately hold that drivers caught talking on a hand-held phone while driving would be fined $75 for the first offense and $150 each for four or more offenses. However, drivers would be legally permitted to talk on a cellular telephone with a hands-free device or speakerphone.
Supporters for this regulation believe that the cell phone ban would decrease the amount of distracted drivers and further prevention dangerous traffic accidents. However, those who criticize the regulation believe the concept as “nanny-state legislation” that outlaws common behavior. Furthermore, critics wonder why lawmakers won’t just outright ban all activities that causes driver distraction and may ultimately lead to accidents.
Currently, the state of Illinois has already enacted legislation that bans texting or sending e-mails while driving. Unfortunately, our Chicago auto accident attorney learned that policing authorities around the state are having a difficult time enforcing due to the difficulty of determining which particular cellular phone functions are in use. However, state regulation does prohibit talking on a cellular telephone in a work or school zone.
Our Illinois car accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti are pleased to learn about proposed legislation that aims at decreasing the overabundance of distracted driving around the state, as well as, the nation. Distracted driving, which most commonly includes cellular telephone use, continues to remain a common source of devastating accidents resulting in injury and fatality. According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009, 16% of all fatal accidents involved reports of distracted driving, while 20% resulted in injury.
Our Chicago accident attorneys continue to encourage safe driving habits for drivers of all types of motor vehicles. In order to ensure safe travel, drivers should always: keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, refrain from taking calls while driving, avoid texting during vehicle operation and always wear a safety belt. These simple steps could one day help save the life of you or a loved one or prevent the premature death of another.