Distracted Driving
11:59 am
Sun January 22, 2012

Cell Phones Could Be Banned for Illinois Motorists

An Illinois legislator has introduced a proposal that would ban drivers from using their cell phones. 

It's already illegal to text when you're behind the wheel, and some local ordinances only allow drivers to use hands-free devices for their phones.

Representative John D'Amico (D-Chicago) wants to go beyond those limitations.  He introduced a measure that would ban motorists from using mobile devices at all.

D'Amico acknowledged the idea might be unpopular with drivers who have become accustomed to making calls from the road, but he is standing by the proposal.

"As far as inconvenience, I don't buy that argument at all.  Because we're talking about safety, we're talking about saving people's lives.  There is nothing inconvenient about that," D'Amico said.

"When you're on the phone and you're driving a vehicle, it's not just yourself that you're worried about.  You’re taking other people's lives in your hands.  Because if you are not driving that vehicle in the proper manner, you're putting other people's lives at risk as well."

D'Amico said he has ideas about how he could scale back the measure.  But he's waiting to unveil them in hopes of gaining enough support for a total ban.

D'Amico said he's been interested in drivers' safety since he was first elected in 2004. He said the issue came to his attention after a fatal crash involving teenagers.  

He said he has been in touch with the US Secretary of Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood, who has indicated he will lend his support.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio