Motorists who send text messages or surf the Internet while driving would face stiff fines -- ranging from $75 to $200 -- under a crackdown advanced by the City Council today.
Three years after striking out in his attempt to add all forms of distracted driving to Chicago's ban on the use of cell phones without a hands-free device, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) persuaded his colleagues to ban texting while driving.
Law enforcement personnel and operators of emergency vehicles would be exempt. All other drivers would be prohibited from texting and surfing, except when the vehicle is in a "stationary, parked position and not in gear." Violators would face a $75 fine for each offense unless the violation results in an accident. If a crash occurs, the fine would be $200.