texting and driving

"April10 033" by Flickr User Lord Jim / (CC x 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers are moving ahead with legislation toughening penalties for texting and driving.

If passed, the bill would allow law enforcement to issue a moving violation on a first offense. That carries a fine of $75 dollars for the first violation. Current law only allows a ticket to be issued on the second or subsequent stops.

State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, also sponsored the original ban on texting and driving four years ago. He says everyone knows now that texting and driving is illegal.

"Texting while Driving" By Flickr User Intel Free Press / (CC X 2.0)

A survey of teen drivers shows there's still plenty of work to do to get them to pay more attention on the road.

State Farm Insurance questioned drivers between 16 and 19 years old and found that 80 percent say they use their smartphones while driving. Missy Dundov, with the company, says there is more technology competing for the driver's focus. 

"Distracted driving is nothing new, but the level of it has changed," she said. "The electronics people have in their car ... Maybe it's not their phone. Even if they have a Bluetooth -- that can be distracting."