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Illinois lawmakers continue to crack down on distracted driving

Distracted driving continues to be a deadly concern throughout Illinois. The Department of Transportation claims that distracted driving is playing an ever-larger role in the state's traffic deaths.

As a result, the State Police and lawmakers have redoubled their efforts to address the problem. State Police Troopers issued more than 14 thousand tickets for cellphone offenses in 2018, up from 1,729 in 2017, and lawmakers passed new legislation to stamp out troublesome loopholes.

No more streaming videos while driving

As NPR Illinois noted, the laws governing distracted driving took multiple forms of personal electronic devices into consideration, but they did not give an equally clear definition of what it meant for someone to be "using" one of these devices.

Lawmakers responded to this oversight recently by introducing new legislation. A bill out of the Senate offers a stronger, three-part definition for the use of personal electronics:

  • Holding a personal electronic device in your hand or hands
  • Using your hand or finger to do anything with email, texts, instant messages or other electronically transmitted data
  • Watching video

Taken along with the law going into effect on July 1 that makes it a moving violation to use a cell phone while driving, this more comprehensive language shows that state legislators are pursuing increasingly aggressive means of combating the problem.

Accidents involving distracted drivers

Even as legislators look to pass new laws for distracted driving, the problem remains. People already know distracted driving is dangerous, but they still use their devices while at the wheel.

This means that until the trends change, you are increasingly likely of getting into an accident with a distracted driver. If you do, though, the laws are on your side. Illinois law calls for a determination of fault, and a tough lawyer can use the other driver's distraction to your advantage.

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