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In Springfield Illinois the vote was close among house members on whether to support a ban on cell phone use and driving. While we use the term Distracted Driving, most of us think of the major distractions such as cell phone use and texting and driving. Illinois already has a law on the books similar to Texas that says you can't use a cell phone in a school zone. If the law passes after it reaches the Illinois Senate and is signed into law by the governor, Illinois would be the 10th state in the Nation to totally ban cell phone use and driving by any means other than hands free cell phone use.

You know from my other posts that I support a ban of cell phone use and driving. I even support a ban on hands free use but I understand that I need to pick my battles carefully in an attempt to win the war today on Distracted Driving. People use their cars too much to expect that we will all simply put our phones away. As my kids say when it comes time to eating vegetables, "ain't gonna happen."

I mean to disrespect but here are a few of the objections lodged by Illinois house members. Rep. Rich Morthland said, “Out where I live we can drive miles without encountering another car on the road,” Rep. Morthland is a Republican from Cordova, Illinois. News flash representative Cordova, many of the collisions and accidents involving distracted driving are single car accidents. What you're saying here is that you want to use your phone because you think you can. If you get a chance to research any of the statistics in this area you will find that you are not hard wired to drive and use your cell phone at the same time. I realize you may not want to be bound to this because you don't think there is much traffic but the life you save may actually be your own.

Another Illinois representative said, “Although road safety is a top issue, this is something that should be common sense, not a law.” This is a quote from Rep. Adam Brown a Republican from Decatur. Yes, everyone agrees that it is good common sense to refrain from texting or using a cell phone and driving, yet at least 80% of the teenagers I speak with agree with you and continue to use their cell phones and drive. Why? It's an addiction. You can't cure an addiction with Common Sense. If you could, there would not be any alcoholics, drug users, sex addicts or in today's world "texters."

Just my two cents.

Go Illinois, I support you in banning cell phone use and driving. Even those that do it today agree that this is necessary to end the war on driver distraction.

Drive Safe – X THA TXT

Jeff Weinstein, Dallas injury lawyer

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  1. Gravatar for Janet

    I think people should be banned from holding the phone and talking while driving. If you have a speaker phone or bluetooth, that should be ok, but MOST people don't bother using those items. They would rather act like they are the only people on the road and ignore everyone else. I can't even begin to count the times I have had to avoid accidents because of ignorant people on their phones. I keep saying that next time I will let them hit me, I can use the insurance money. My luck, I will be the one injured and not them.

  2. Gravatar for Rick

    Given the overwhelming fact that millions drive safely while talking on the cell phone throws common sense on the nanny staters who use a relatively few accidents to make a wrong generalized judgement. It sickens me to continually hear whinners throw out the cliche we are only trying to protect you and others around you. The fact is you have a better chance having an accident driving in a congested urban sprawl. Maybe that is where your efforts should be concentrating on improving our aged infrastructure. Anyway they can pass all the laws they want about cell phone use and texting but I'll continue to use both.

  3. Gravatar for Jeff Weinstein

    Rick, Thanks for your comments. I put on presentations at high schools throughout East Texas. At the end of each presentation, I ask whether the young drivers will take a pledge to refrain from texting and driving. Many do, some don't. Then I ask who will continue to use their cell phones and drive. I admire the honesty of those that stand up and say they will continue to do it. I admire their gaul because now they have been provided with the information of how dangerous their actions are and if they cause a collision because they are using their cell phones, they could then be responsible for punitive damages for their conscious indifference to the safety of the community.

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