New Illinois Law Increases Penalties for Texting While Driving

Beginning July 1, 2019, a first offense of texting while driving will be charged as a moving violation in Illinois. Previously, a first cell phone violation was treated as a non-moving violation, and only second or subsequent texting violations counted against your driving privileges. The old law was in effect since 2014. Of course, fines and court costs also may be imposed under the new law. A conviction for a moving violation will count toward a driver’s license suspension as well as insurance premium increases.

It is important to note that the law doesn’t only apply to texting. Illinois law says that a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using ANY electronic communication device.

The Illinois Secretary of State will suspend drivers over the age of 21 for three moving violation convictions within any 12-month period. For drivers under 21 years of age, a license suspension is imposed for just two moving violation convictions within a 24-month period.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 25% of crashes involve distracted driving and driving a vehicle while texting is 6x more dangerous than drunk driving. The new law, HB4846, signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner aims to make Illinois roads safer.
If you receive an Illinois traffic ticket, contact the Chicago area defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. Our knowledgeable attorneys have decades of experience representing drivers throughout Illinois including Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County. We regularly represent clients ticketed for Illinois cell phone and texting violations.
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