Two new proposals in Springfield would impact how you use your cell phone and when you can send a text message. One bill would ban hand-held cell phone use by drivers, while another would forbid you from texting while riding a bike even if you are stopped. Both ideas having passed out of Illinois House committees.
Enforcing a total ban on cell phone usage while you drive could be difficult, but Democrat State Representative John D'Amico of Chicago says a partial ban wouldn't be bad. You'd still be allowed to use hands-free devices or put the phone on speaker. D'Amico says the idea is to combat distracted driving and help reduce roadway deaths. It is already against the law to talk on a cell phone while driving in a school or construction zone, and it is illegal to text while behind the wheel. Lawmakers are also considering a bill that would make it illegal to text while you ride a bicycle, even if you are stopped. That means bikers could still use Bluetooth and hands-free devices to talk on their phones. The bike proposal has passed in committee and is headed to the House for a full vote.