Illinois Drivers Could Face Tougher Penalties for Texting & Driving
People caught texting and driving on Illinois roadways could risk losing their licenses under a measure being considered by state lawmakers.
Illinois police officers currently only issue warnings or tickets to anyone who breaks the state's distracted driving law. The proposed change would give anyone who's caught texting and driving a moving violation, which counts against driving records and can lead to a suspended license.
Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says the penalty needs to be increased.
"Texting is especially dangerous because it not only takes your hands off the wheel, it takes your eyes off the road. People who do this aren't just putting their own lives in danger, they're putting their passengers, other motorists, and nearby pedestrians."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates more than 3-thousand people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 20-16. Illinois law enforcement officials say they're stepping up patrols to look for distracted drivers this week.