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Stadelman passes bill to crack down on distracted driving

stadelman 032919SPRINGFIELD – As smart phones get smarter and streaming speeds get faster, legislation intended to protect motorists from distracted drivers streaming videos while they drive was passed out of the Illinois Senate by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford).

“A person driving 70 miles per hour who looks down at their phone for 5 seconds has traveled more than 150 yards,” Stadelman said. “The amount of damage and danger you can cause in that distance is far too great for us to not do anything.”

Senate Bill 86 clarifies that drivers may not use electronic devices to stream videos while they are driving. While the current hands-free law is often looked at mostly as a ban on the use of cell phones, it also includes tablets, laptops, video games and pagers. The ability to do what was once confined to home life – such as watching TV – has become an anytime, anywhere pursuit. It's estimated more than half of all Americans watch video on their smartphones.

According to the Center for Disease Control, nine people are killed every day in the United States from distracted driving. Additionally, 37 percent of unsafe driving behavior monitored by the EverQuote’s EverDrive app was caused by phone use.

The measure passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the House of Representatives.

Sen. Steve Stadelman

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34th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions; Higher Education; Public Health; Revenue; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology (Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Worked as a news anchor/reporter for WTVO-Channel 17 for 25 years, In 2003, his coverage of the state's death penalty earned him an Associated Press award for Best Documentary.

Associated Representatives:
John M. Cabello
Maurice A. West II