Illinois bill cracks down on drivers watching TV while driving

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Texting and driving is against the law, but it's not clear if watching videos behind the wheel is illegal too. But, Illinois lawmakers are taking action to make sure drivers have no confusion.

"It’s scary to think about how many little ones could get hurt," said Kim Soderberg who lives in Machesney Park.

Soderberg is a mother of two young kids and she’s concerned for their safety because of distracted drivers.

"The thought of having them in the hospital or having a fender bender where they are hurt in any way terrifies me. Winter driving or seeing people sending a text or making phones calls is really a fear of mine because someday we might be in a situation like that,” Soderberg said.

But Illinois lawmakers are cracking down with a bill clarifying that all devices are banned while driving and drivers should not be watching videos.

"When I read about these incidents in other parts of the country where drivers are watching TV during these accidents and sometimes they are fatal. That has made me realize that we need to do something in Illinois to make sure we can prevent this type of accident,” said Sen. Steve Stadleman.

Stadleman introduced this bill in January giving law enforcement another tool to stop distracted drivers.

"It’s another enforcement method to make sure that we can stop and prohibit distracted driving as much as possible including watching videos while driving," Stadleman said.

Many lawmakers agreed that this was update is needed.

"Putting this in place it is really just trying to help not only save drivers but prevent accidents from destroying families just like we've seen in the past," said Sen. Dave Syverson.

This bill is before the House of Representatives now and if it passes will go to Governor J.B. Pritzker for the final say.