9:04 p.m. CDT, May 4, 2011 Teen drivers would find their fingers forcibly idled under a City Council plan to require that all cellphones sold in Chicago come equipped with technology to disable text messaging capabilities.
If approved, the ban would take effect next year. The text-stopping application would kick in if the mobile phone is in a car going faster than 5 mph. Several companies already sell such technology, which often takes the form of an app linked to the GPS in the phone.
Sponsoring Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, said that as a father of a teenager, he thinks a government requirement is appropriate to curb texting while driving, which already is outlawed in Illinois. Burke said the proposal would save lives by taking away a major source of distraction.
"Parents don't have the knowledge, they don't have the ability" to get the text-stopping technology installed in their children's phones themselves, Burke said.
Any store selling a device that does not include such capability would face fines of $100 to $1,000, assuming the city enforces such an ordinance.