Distracted Driving Will Become More Harshly Punished in Illinois in 2019
With the rise of technology, almost everyone has a computer in their pocket these days -- their cell phones. While these handy devices can make life easier for us, they have also proven to make life more dangerous. In an effort to prevent drivers from using their electronic devices while driving, a new Illinois law that will take effect in July will increase the consequences that drivers will face when caught using an electronic device while driving. This new law will make a first-time offense of using an electronic device while driving a moving violation, rather than just a warning.
New Law Changes Penalties for First-Time Offenders
Before the new law was enacted, the Illinois Vehicle Code stated that drivers needed to be caught using an electronic device while driving at least twice before any disciplinary action would be taken against them. Under the new law, drivers only need to be caught using an electronic device once before they are issued a ticket for a moving violation. Beginning in July of this year, first-time offenders who use an electronic device while driving will see the infraction on their driving record. If drivers commit the offense more than three times in a 12-month period, they will face a driver’s license suspension. In addition to the violations, they will also face fines as follows:
- First offense: $75
- Second offense: $100
- Third offense: $125
- Fourth or subsequent offense: $150
Scope of the Problem
Though various governments and state police officers across the nation have been cracking down on distracted driving, it still remains an issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,450 people were killed as a result of distracted driving in 2016, and nearly 400,000 people were injured by distracted driving accidents in 2015. The handheld use of electronic devices has decreased, but the NHTSA states that using an electronic device in any way while driving increases your risk of crashing by 3.6 times.
Contact a DuPage County Traffic Violations Attorney
Though a first-time offense of driving while using an electronic device is now a moving violation, it can easily become a misdemeanor or felony if you cause someone else great bodily harm or death because of a crash. At the Davi Law Group, LLC, we understand the gravity of distracted driving violations. Our skilled Wheaton, IL traffic violations lawyers can help you form a solid defense against any traffic charges you may face. Call our office today at 630-580-6373 to schedule a free consultation.