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Accident Gapers With Cell Phones

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – A measure to ban the use of cell phone, still and video cameras near the scene of car crashes has passed an Illinois House committee. The legislation seeks to ban photo and video taking with 500 feet of a crash.

State Rep. Tom Holbrook (D-Belleville), the measure’s sponsor, says he’s heard of many cases where those with cell phones get in the way of emergency responders. That’s the kind of behavior he aims to eliminate.

“Putting your cell phone over the fireman’s shoulder as he’s using the jaws of life maybe to get your grandmother out of the front seat of the car while she’s bleeding… you never know, these are horrendous situations for these individuals,” says Holbrook.

The bill says “no person” may use the electronic device within the specified range, but Holbrook says there would be exceptions… for example, if the person were helping with the rescue.

The measure also adds pictures and videos to the blanket definition of “electronic messaging,” which means they’d accompany text messaging on the list of things Illinois motorists can’t do while driving.

The bill now awaits debate on the House floor.

 Copyright  Illinois Radio Network

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