Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias is proposing new legislation that would ban the use of Zoom and other video-chat platforms while driving.
According to a press release, Giannoulias’ proposal, sponsored by State Rep. Marcus Evans and State Sen. Javier Cervantes, would ban the use of phones and other devices to watch or participate in video conferencing, while also prohibiting drivers from streaming videos or accessing social media sites while behind the wheel.
“We need to take steps to change the culture surrounding distracted driving, which will lead to more responsible drivers and ultimately save lives,” Giannoulias said in a statement. “Zooming takes hands, eyes and minds off the focus of driving.”
Motorists would be permitted to participate in conference calls, but only if they use hands-free devices and if the video function is turned off.
Illinois first banned texting while driving in 2010, according to the press release, and banned the use of cell phones while driving in 2014, requiring drivers to get hands-free devices.
Violations of the video chatting law would result in a ticket and a maximum fine of $75 on a first offense, with three moving violations in a single year resulting in a suspension of a motorist’s driver’s license.
Officials say the new law would be part of the state’s continued efforts to combat distracted driving, which kills more than 3,000 people per year, according to the National Safety Council.