Illinois 2 Ban Txting and Driving Jan. 1 - NBC Chicago

Illinois 2 Ban Txting and Driving Jan. 1

Starting Jan. 1, texters behind the wheel will be fined $75



    Illinois 2 Ban Txting and Driving Jan. 1
    The feds are looking to put an end to texting while driving.

    You thought texting was expensive now.

    You'll have to pay $75 if you're caught texting while driving after Jan. 1.

    Beginning in 2010, doing anything with your mobile phone while driving will be banned in Illinois, which will become the 19th state to ban such a practice.

    So no more texting, navigating the web, looking up maps on your phone or playing Sudoku on your super-device.

    "It's tough to legislate common sense," said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White during a press conference today. "If you are caught, there are consequences. You will pay."

    "These are incredibly selfish behaviors that put innocent lives at risk," said Gloria Wilhelm, the mother of a man killed by a distracted driver, who spoke at the press conference Monday. "Please remember, it only takes a second to cause eternal heartbreak," she said. 

    The message is clear: Driving and texting will not be tolerated anymore.

    “Distracted driving is a serious, life-and-death problem that took nearly 6,000 lives last year alone,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said at a summit in Alabama earlier this month.

    A recent Pew Research Center study showed that one in four American teens of driving age say they have texted behind the wheel and half of all teens ages 12 to 17 say they have been a passenger while has texted while driving.