News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

January 1, 2014

EDITORIAL: Safety and cell phones

New Illinois law offers sensible approach to distracted driving

Illinois is not, generally speaking, the best example of statewide governing in our nation. Its fiscal problems are testament to that.

But let’s acknowledge that our neighbor to the west does a lot of things right in its everyday governmental machinations, and we point to the recently instituted cell phone law for drivers of motor vehicles as exhibit A.

As Tribune-Star reporter Howard Greninger explained in a story recently, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, motorists traveling in Illinois must use hands-free devices if talking on a cellular telephone while driving. Devices allowed include Bluetooth headsets, earpieces and voice-activated commands.

The purpose of the new law is obvious. It is a traffic safety measure aimed at reducing the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers. While it goes farther than texting bans that previously existed in Illinois and currently exist in Indiana, it is not so intrusive that it eliminates the practice of using a cell phone while driving, which some advocate. It is an incremental step that, if enforced sensibly, can make traveling safer on roads and highways in Illinois.

We think Illinois is on the right track.

For it to work, however, education and enforcement are key. Time must be given for motorists to come to grips with the law. After that, police need to ticket violators.

The incentive to comply is strong. Motorists who do not use hands-free devices face a maximum fine of $75 for the first offense; $100 for the second offense; $125 for the third offense; and $150 for the fourth or subsequent offense.

What’s more, distracted drivers who injure others or cause fatal crashes from the use of a cell phone could face a class-A misdemeanor, which could result in fines up to $2,500 and less than a year of jail time. Drivers involved in fatal accidents could be charged with a class-4 felony, which carries fines up to $25,000 and up to three years in jail.

While Illinois residents have become quite aware of the new law, it’s important that Hoosiers who travel westward also understand its provisions and consequences.

Indiana officials should watch this closely and consider their own expanded law in the future.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Today in History for August 1st Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity