Lawmakers Consider Harsher Penalties For Texting And Driving

Apr 16, 2018

Rep. John D'Amico sponsored the original ban on texting.
Credit Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are moving ahead with legislation that would harshen penalties for texting and driving. The bill will allow law enforcement to issue a moving violation on a first offense. That  carries a fine of $75 for the first violation. Current law only allows a ticket to be issued on the second or subsequent stops.

State Representative John D’Amico, a Democrat from Chicago, also sponsored the original ban on texting and driving four years ago. He said everyone knows now that texting and driving is illegal.

“They don’t need to have a warning on their first stop," said D'Amico. "They can get a ticket. Bottom line is, we want to try to continue to make the roads in Illinois as safe as possible.”

The second offense will cost drivers $100 and the amount goes up after that.  License suspension is possible after three moving violations. The bill has been sent to the Illinois House floor.