A bill that would impose stiffer penalties on Illinois motorists who text while driving has passed the state Senate on a 50-2 vote and has reached Gov. Bruce Rauner, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The bill has gained the support by the Illinois State Police.
Under House Bill 4846, also known as the Heads Up Bill, first-time offenses of texting while driving would be classified as moving violations, which are recorded to the motorist's driving record, reports Fox Illinois.com.
Under the current law, second and subsequent texting while driving offenses are treated as moving violations, but first offenses are viewed as non-moving violations and have less serious ramifications.
If the governor signs the Heads Up Bill into law it will go into effect in July 2019. The bill passed the House on April 18.
A first-time texting while driving violation will cost a motorist $75. Additional fines for texting while driving include $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third and $150 for a fourth or more.
In addition, any driver convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period is subject to a driver's license suspension, notes Fox Illinois.com.
The Heads Up Bill is the brainchild of a special task force created in recent years to examine ways to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by distracted driving, according to reports.
At least 25% of police-reported crashes involve some form of distracted driving, and texting while driving is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.