New Laws to Increasing Distracted Driving Penalties

As announced earlier this week, new laws are in place as of Wednesday, July 1st increasing the penalties on using cellphones while driving. 

According to USA Today, “Idaho, Indiana and South Dakota will join 22 other states that already require phones be in hands-free mode.” The Idaho State Police will issue warnings until Dec. 31. Citations for this state will begin Jan. 1, 2021.

In Indiana, not only can a driver be stopped by police and fined up to $500, but they can also face losing their license for simply having a phone in their hand while driving even if it’s not in use.

Why these laws are important:

Distracted driving is a major problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), being preoccupied behind the wheel claimed 2,841 lives in 2018. 

Taking your eyes and attention off the road is never a smart or responsible thing to do. You are putting yourself, your passengers and others on the road at a great risk.

“Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed,” the NHTSA says.

This has led many other states to write legislature in effort to join in and attempt to curve distracted driving. 

Illinois established two new laws to further the punishment for using a cell phone while driving. These include: 

Public Act 101-0090- amends the Illinois Vehicle Code (IVC) by establishing a 12-month license suspension and minimum fine of $1,000 for a motorist who, while texting and driving, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another person. 

Public Act 101-0470- also referred to as Mason’s Law, amends the IVC by establishing a 12-month license suspension for a motorist who, while violating the right-of-way at crosswalks and in school zones, causes serious injury to another person. 

So, always remember: phone down, eyes up!

If you find yourself in an auto accident caused by distracted driving, you are not alone. Attorneys at Glisson Law will provide legal representation to ensure that your voice is heard. Contact Glisson Law and let us help you with a free consultation.

Related: Decrease Distracted Driving