SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – With texting linked to 400,000 car accidents every year, state Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, led the fight to pass a new safety measure on Wednesday in the Illinois House that would strengthen restrictions on texting while driving.

“Texting while driving is a deadly habit that is still too popular with drivers, especially young drivers,” said D’Amico. “Distracted drivers are putting themselves and others at risk, and it’s time our laws reflect the seriousness of this issue.”

According to the National Safety Council, texting is the most distracting thing a person can do on a phone. As such, texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk, with 1 out of every 4 accidents caused by texting while driving. Even though most people acknowledge the dangers of texting while driving, a high percentage of drivers engage in the activity. Approximately one-fourth of teenagers respond to at least one text message every time they drive with 15 percent of all drivers admitting to texting and checking email while driving.

The D’Amico-led texting while driving legislation, House Bill 4846, creates a penalty for a driver’s first texting violation, rather than the warning that was offered to drivers under the first offense under current law.

“Consequences need to equal people’s actions,” D’Amico continued. “It was past time to strengthen the consequences on a decision that has the potential to ruin lives forever.”

Rep John D’Amico Rep John D'Amico

15th District

Springfield Office:
279-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-8198
(217) 782-2906 FAX

District Office:
4404 W. Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL  60630
(773) 736-0218
(773) 736-2333 FAX