IL Bans Hand-Held Cell Phones for Drivers in 2014

cellphones-not-linked-to-car-accidents-imageStarting next year, you will no longer be able to talk on a hand-held cell phone while behind the wheel in Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn has amended the Illinois Vehicle Code to prohibit the use of a hand-held cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.  This law is effective January 1, 2014, making Illinois one of many states to enact such a law.

The law still permits drivers to utilize a cell phone in hands-free mode or with the use of a headset.  However, use of a hand-held cell phone can subject one to a $75 fine for the first offense, only to be increased by $25 for each offense until reaching $150 for the fourth or subsequent offense.  There are some exemptions to the law for the use of cell phones by law enforcement officers, those who utilize a cell phone to report an emergency and for those who are stopped in traffic so long as their motor vehicle is in neutral or park. 

There is a widespread debate over whether the use of hand-held devices is more distracting to drivers than the use of a device in hands-free mode.  One thing is certain – any attempts for a reduction in the use of cell phones for those driving is an attempt at reducing the likelihood for a collision.  As of August 23, 2013, the Illinois Department of Transportation has identified 614 roadway fatalities since January 1, 2013.

The attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard encourage you to drive safely and begin utilizing the hands-free devices now to be prepared for the new law on January 1, 2014. 


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