Just when you thought things were normalizing in Illinois, along comes a bill that would ban photography of emergency scenes.

The bill, which was passed by the House Friday and now goes to the Senate, will forbid drivers from recording 500 feet from an emergency scene.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times:

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton), would ban drivers from using their phones within 500 feet of an “emergency scene” – described as a location where an emergency vehicle has its lights activated – unless the phone is in hands-free mode or the driver is using the phone to communicate with law enforcement.

The bill also specifically bans the driver from taking a digital photo or video.

The vote came in the wake of a broader ban of cell phone use while driving, which passed the House on Thursday. That bill would also exempt drivers who use hands-free mobile devices but would apply to all stretches of road.

Costello said his legislation was written to protect police officers and emergency responders. He offered the anecdote of Starlena Wilson, a state trooper who in 2010 was struck and seriously injured on the Dan Ryan Expressway while conducting a traffic stop. Reports showed the motorist was distracted by her mobile phone.

If the broader bill banning cell phone use from drivers passes, it would make the bill moot, according to the article.

House Bill 5099 only restricts photography or videography from wireless telephone” devices, so apparently all other cameras are free game.

Maybe they just want to ensure you don’t have time to upload the photo or video before they have a chance to confiscate your camera.


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