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Illinois May Make Cell Phone Use While Driving Illegal

Distracted driving is a problem across the nation. In addition to supporting the Department of Transportation's increased education efforts with the "One Text or Call Could Wreck it All" campaign, Illinois may be taking distracted driving regulation a step further.

The Illinois House approved a plan to ban the use of handheld cell phones while driving. This plan was inspired by the growing number of car accidents caused by distracted driving practices.

Current Illinois Distracted Driving Laws

The state currently prohibits:

  • Drivers 18 and under from using any form of wireless phones, including hands free technology
  • Text messaging, emailing, Internet use and related activities
  • Use of cell phones in school and construction zones

In addition to state regulations, many local municipalities have handheld phone laws requiring the use of hands-free devices. These include Chicago, Highland Park, Winnetka, Evanston and Deerfield.

Details of Illinois Bill

Illinois House Bill 3972 proposes an extension of the definition of electronic communication devices to include the use of a hand held cell phone. As a result, anyone talking on a hand held device anywhere in the state could be cited for violation.

Violation would result in a fine of $75 for the first offense, $100 for the second, $125 for the third and $150 for fourth and subsequent offenses. One repercussion present in this bill that distinguishes it from other states: it also results in a moving violation. This means violators would be issued a citation similar to a speeding violation. As a result, tickets could affect a driver's insurance rates.

If a violation results in an accident, injured victims may be able to receive compensation to cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative expenses. If you or a loved one is injured as a result of another's negligence, it is important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer to ensure that your legal rights and remedies are protected.

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