Tracy and Hammond want stiffer penalties for texting and driving, causing injury

Several of our local lawmakers are sponsors of a bill that strengthens penalties for texting and driving when it results in serious injury.

Sen. Jil Tracy is the chief sponsor in the Senate and Representative Norine Hammond is the Chief Sponsor in the House.

All that’s left to do make the bill law is for Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign.

“When we initially enacted the first bill about texting it had a graduated series of offenses and I don’t think it was thought through that what do we do if there is bodily harm and certainly we have comparable offenses in our driver’s vehicle’s code,” Tracy says.

The legislation would allow anyone found of guilty of causing great bodily harm in the process of operating an electronic communication device and driving, to lose their license for a year and have a minimum $1,000 fee assessed.

Sen. Tracy says the legislation was inspired by a traffic accident in which the person who caused the accident was found guilty of texting while driving, and a victim in another vehicle lost a leg.

The driver responsible only received a $75 fine.

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