Do you support a ban of using hand held devices while driving? Yea or Nay?
— A new proposal to ban the use of cellphones while driving in Illinois passed the House on Friday along with two other traffic safety measures.
Sponsored by Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, the bill would prohibit hand-held devices from being used by drivers except in emergencies. Drivers would have to use hands-free features or pull to the side of the road to use a cellphone. The bill goes to the Senate, where a similar proposal died last year.
D’Amico said there is a growing realization that Illinois has a patchwork of cellphone driving regulations. The Tribune reported last year that 76 municipalities had enacted cellphone restrictions.
“Right now, everybody is driving town to town, and you don’t know where you can and can’t pick up the phone — let alone, it’s a huge distraction while you’re driving the car,” D’Amico said. “We want to do everything we can here to try and reduce accidents and fatalities.”
But Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, likened the proposed ban to an Orwellian “Big Brother” crackdown.
One poignant argument for the bill came when Democratic Rep. Laura Fine of Glenview said her husband lost an arm in a crash caused by a distracted driver. “A phone call is not that important,” said Fine. “If your family is impacted by a distracted driver, it is devastating.”
– See more at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-legislature-cell-phones-0302-20130302,0,621934.story#sthash.b2YDmQQ5.dpuf