Illinois Texting Ban While Driving Signed, Goes Into Effect Jan. 1, 2010

Governor Quinn signs texting ban bill at Northeastern Illinois University on Friday, August 7, 2009, photos of Matt Wilhelm and family.

A law to ban texting or downloading ringtones while driving will go into effect on January 1, 2010. The governor also signed legislation that will prohibit talking on a wireless phone while in a construction zone or a school zone.

Safety experts believe 66% of drivers text while driving.

Matt Wilhelm, 25, was killed by distracted driver, Jennifer Stark, 19, who was downloading a ringtone. Matt Wilhelm was riding his bike northbound on Illinois 130 east of Urbana when he was struck from behind about 7:15 p.m. Jennifer Stark was so far off the road that it was the driver’s side of her car that hit Matt Wilhelm, who was wearing a helmet. For over two years Matt’s parents, Chuck and Gloria Wilhelm, have fought for the enforcement of the texting ban law, which will be a moving violation. Fines may be up to $150. Friends and relatives of the Wilhelm family joined efforts to try to get the law changed regarding distracted drivers.

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