You may already know that you shouldn’t drive while using a hand-held phone. Texting while driving makes a driver 23x more likely to crash. Drivers talking on a cell phone are 4x more likely to have a car accident. For more than a year now, this has been illegal. As of January 1, 2014, Illinois law banned the use of all hand-held devices while driving. A driver may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read and electronic message.
• Only hands-free technology such as speakerphones, bluetooth, and headsets are permitted.
• All cell phone use is prohibited while driving in a school zone.
• All cell phone use is prohibited while driving in a highway construction zone.
• All cell phone use is prohibited if you are a novice driver.
• All Illinois drivers are prohibited from texting.
In Illinois, cell phone use while driving is considered a primary law. This means that an officer can pull you over for offense and issue a ticket even if there has been no other wrong-doing, for instance, running a stop sign while texting. If you get a ticket for driving with a cell phone, fines start at $75 and repeat offenders could pay $150. You also risk a suspended license. In addition to tickets and fees, the new law also imposes stricter penalties following crashes that cause bodily harm. The distracted driver could face up to one year in prison and up to three years in prison if the crash is fatal.
Frank’s Auto Glass would like to remind you to always drive safely. This is one lesson that it would be a shame to learn the hard way. Make your own pledge to drive without cell phones and to create a safer environment for drivers, passengers, bikers, and pedestrians alike.