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TEXTING WHILE DRIVING BAN! Common Sense, or Opportunity for Enforcement Abuse?

Good Morning from Chicago!

Hope you're enjoying your Memorial Day Holiday, folks.  Don't forget to take some time around 3:00 PM today to remember those who served, and gave their lives, so that we all can live in freedom!

Texting!  Checking the Internet on your PDA!  These tools have become ubiquitous - nearly every professional, in or outside of Real Estate, uses them in conjunction with their business.

Of course, folks use these important tech tools for personal business as well - but that is not the primary focus here!

Last week in IL, our State Senate approved and sent to the IL House a bill to ban sending text messages or surfing the Internet while operating a motor vehicle.  The legislation was approved by a 45-6 vote.  If passed by both houses of the IL Legislature, our Governor, Pat Quinn, is likely to sign the bill into law.

The Senate action was summarized in a story by Reporter Ashley Rueff in the Chicago Tribune, May 20th.  Under the measure, drivers could still use GPS devices in their cars, even if such software is on their PDA or cell phone.  Also, drivers would be allowed to pull off the road to send a text message, or text if stuck in gridlocked traffic, so long as they put their car in neutral first.

Proponents of the bill predict safer driving if the measure is past.   The bill's detractors, however, are concerned about enforcing police officers scrolling through drivers' cell phones to check recent text logs.   They see possible abuse, even the possibility of racial profiling!

The fine structure is to be worked out, but fines would be higher if the texting or surfing led directly to an accident. An earlier City of Chicago proposal would impose a $200 fine in the event of a texting-related collision.

On the topic of distracted driving, banning text messaging while traveling at 65 MPH sounds like common sense.  But, then again - maybe not?

The IL Senate also approved a separate bill prohibiting use of cell phones in construction or school zones, unless hands free devices are used.

See our post this morning via BlogChicagoHomes.com.


Comment balloon 17 commentsDean Moss • May 25 2009 10:13AM


Dean, Texting while driving should be banned! Teenagers are the biggest part of the population that does this but I also see adults doing it! This would mean less accident-related incidents!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Prado Real Estate South) about 10 years ago


I'm glad to see a ban on texting while operating a motor vehicle. I just don't understand what part of this ban drivers don't get! Common sense says it is dangerous!!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) about 10 years ago

Hmmmm... I agree that of course you do not want to have people texting at 65 mph.  However, the bill as you present it has other aspects.  How exactly are the police going to verify that someone put the car into neutral? Is it illegal to text with the car in park? Isn't there a right to privacy as regards my text messages, so is this saying that police have the right to take my cell phone at a traffic stop?  Thanks for posting... my first reaction would be that we don't want to have texting while driving, but the enforcement aspects open a whole new can of worms...

Posted by Shoshana Shay (St. Pete Realty) about 10 years ago

Dangerous? YES. Enforcable? NO. Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to enforce. What will they do? Set up check points set up in strategic locations throughout the city to check our cell phones for texts?

Posted by Mark Hall, Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington (Realty One Group Cascadia) about 10 years ago

I agree with texting while driving-I too am concerned about the other.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) about 10 years ago

This is a good idea.  More accidents are happening because of cell phones.  People need to be more patient instead of feeling a need to respond at a moments notice while driving.

Posted by Goodbye Active Rain, Out of Real Estate about 10 years ago

I think the 6 no's must have been under 25. No one in their right mind would text while driving. Why not play legos while performing surgery? This is nuts!! You should ALWAYS pull over and stop if you must respond via text.

Posted by Betina Foreman, Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY (WJK Realty) about 10 years ago

I think it is common sense to not text while driving....  The problem is that we are letting the goverment be in control of what we can and can not do.  They already limit us too much .....

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) about 10 years ago

Smart but popularity motivated.  I think you will find there are dramatically more wrecks of people putting on makeup than being on the phone.....but that is OK.  It is all about distractions that cause accidents.  I am more worried about the adults texting than the kids.  I can't even imagine how to type and drive at the same time.

Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Tim Monciref) about 10 years ago

I completely agree with most here.  There shouldn't even be a need for that type of ban -- it's just nonsense to try to text while driving.  But I honestly don't know how they will be able to enforce it.

Posted by Jim & Maria Hart, Charleston, SC Real Estate (Brand Name Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Should be banned. People forget they are jeopardizing the lives of others.

Posted by Michael A. Caruso (Surterre Properties) about 10 years ago

Texting and talking while driving is very dangerous.  When I am on a Dallas freeway if there is someone driving very slow I assume they are talking on the phone.  When I pass them my guess is correct.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker about 10 years ago

I have integrated bluetooth on my phone, but do need to dial. Sometimes I wonder if I will be mistaken for texting when I'm really just dialing a short phone number.

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) about 10 years ago

I agree with banning texting but I also don't see how this could be enforceable.  Also, I'm curious how it could lead to racial profiling.  That doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by Heather Chavez, Real Estate Virtual, Assistant (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) about 10 years ago

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments, folks!

I, too, believe in common sense - but bristle of all this "Big Brother" talk!  However, it will be hard to enforce, unless there is some kind of accident and the police officer double checks your phone.

Perhaps it's the IDEA that counts.

Distracted driving, however, is becoming a REAL problem!

And it's not just the kids!


Posted by Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) about 10 years ago

I agree that  texting while driving is a dangerous practice but I am concerned about giving police the authority to access phones and PDA's. People should have the common sense not to talk on the phone and text while driving. I really don't want the police enforcing this.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) about 10 years ago

Dean these "young teenagers" prior to driving addicted to text messages, my daughter soon to be 15 yr. I hate thought of driving and text !

Have a great and wonderful weekend.

Posted by Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team (Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals Lynn911.com ) about 10 years ago

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