Drivers Causing Injuries Due to Texting While Driving Accidents to Face Increased Penalties in Illinois

Those who cause serious car accidents resulting injuries due to texting while driving will now face stronger penalties thanks to legislation sponsored by State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) that was signed into law on Friday.

Through HB 2386, any individual found guilty of this crime will have their driver’s license suspended for one year and will face a fine of $1,000. “Distracted driving- especially texting while driving, is a serious issue on our roads, and motorists should face significant penalties if they break the law that bans texting while driving,” said Hammond. “Data from the National Safety Council tells us that cell phone use while driving causes about 16 million automobile crashes each year, and that almost 390,000 injuries are caused annually due to texting while driving. I was pleased to have wide, bipartisan support of this bill in the House and Senate.”

According to Hammond, the legislation was filed in response to a tragedy in the 93rd District, when an innocent motorist lost a limb after being hit by a driver who was texting at the time of the crash. The laws on the books at the time only provided for a $75 fine for the driver who caused the accident.

“Accidents due to texting while driving are completely preventable, and it is my hope that these increased consequences cause motorists to think twice before they pick up their cell phone while they’re driving,” Hammond said.

HB 2386 takes effect on July 1, 2020.