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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