Illinois Shoots For Text-Free Driving

Take your thumbs off the phone and put your hands on the wheel

By Peggy Cassidy
|  Tuesday, May 19, 2009  |  Updated 1:45 PM CDT
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Ban Cell Phones in Cars Altogether?

Driving to distraction

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Ban Cell Phones in Cars Altogether?

No state bans all cell phone use by drivers, but the Illinois Secretary of State is recommending such a ban in school zones and construction areas.
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While there's still some doubt just how seriously Chicago police take a local law requiring hands free attachments on cell phones used while driving, the Illinois Senate is joining the campaign against motorists who send text messages while at the wheel.

Senators voted 45-6 to make texting behind the wheel while driving a traffic violation.

Cicero Democrat Sen. Martin Sandoval, the bill's sponsor, says texting distracts drivers and banning it would save lives.

Rockford Republican Sen. Dave Syverson countered by saying the legislation was changed to allow texting if the car is on the side of the road and not moving.

Critics claim that existing law covers the problem and that texting could be a vital safety necessity.

The bill (HR71) returns to the House for approval of the change.

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