U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gave a public attaboy to Indiana’s governor Mitch Daniels in a media statement where Indiana was recognized as the 32nd state to enact laws that make texting while driving illegal. (It’s a victory of sorts for the feds, as Secretary LaHood is actively pushing states to pass laws like this as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s campaign against distracted driving. For more information, check out the Transportation Department’s distracted driving website, Distraction.gov.)
July 2011: Indiana Texting While Driving Ban Goes Into Effect
In Indiana, starting July 1, 2011, you can be ticketed if you are caught texting behind the wheel – and this is going to make liability more serious in a personal injury civil matter if you’re in a car wreck while you’re doing it.
Indiana’s new law makes texting while driving illegal with a maximum fine of $500. It also makes it against the law for Indiana drivers under 18 to use cell phones at all. Period.
What about in Illinois?
This is old news in Illinois, which was the 17th state to enact a texting while driving ban. Governor Pat Quinn signed that into law back in August 2009. In Illinois, if you text, surf the web, email, etc. while driving, it is a $1000 fine under Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2.