SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — People caught texting while driving will face stiffer penalties under a new Illinois law. Starting July 1, 2019, drivers caught texting will be issued a moving violation that will go on their driving record.

Anyone convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period may have their license suspended.

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Under the current law that took effect in 2014 a first offense for texting while driving is a non-moving violation and doesn’t affect a person’s driving record.

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Secretary of State Jesse White says the law is needed because distracted driving has become a serious problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates at least 25 percent of crashes reported to police involve distracted driving.

White says the new law Gov. Bruce Rauner signed this week “will make our roads safer.”

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