A person is texting while driving.

(Dreamstime)

New Illinois Law Adds Stiffer Penalty for Texting While Driving

The new law will take effect on July 1, 2019.

August 16, 2018 - 9:53 am
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX/AP) - People caught texting while driving will face stiffer penalties under a new Illinois law.

Starting July 1, 2019 drivers caught texting will be issued a moving violation that will go on their driving record. Anyone convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period may have their license suspended.

"As we all know, anyone who has been driving on road ways, texting while driving is a huge problem," says Illinois secretary of state spokesman, Henry Haupt.

Under the current law that took effect in 2014 a first offense for texting while driving is a non-moving violation and doesn't affect a person's driving record.

Secretary of State Jesse White says the law is needed because distracted driving has become a serious problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates at least 25 percent of crashes reported to police involve distracted driving.

White says the new law Gov. Bruce Rauner signed this week ``will make our roads safer.'' 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving while texting is six-times more dangerous than driving intoxicated.