Drivers: Handheld Cellphone Ban Starts Next Year in Illinois
Distracted driving contributes to many car accidents every year in Illinois. It is not unusual to see drivers talking on their cellphones but a new law aims to deter drivers from using their cellphones while driving.
Starting in January, drivers will be banned from using hand-held cellphones. The new law allows drivers to use headsets that use one-digit or voice-activated dialing. In the past, drivers in Illinois were able to use hand-held cellphones unless they were driving in a construction or school zone or if they were under the age of 19.
The new law could result in more drivers receiving traffic violations for distracted driving and cellphone use, and the citations come with a heavy price. Motorists could face a $75 fine if they are caught using their cellphones while driving.
Drivers who use their cellphones and cause a car accident that results in serious or fatal injuries could face significant penalties. Drivers who cause a fatal accident while using an electronic device like a cellphone could face three years in prison. Drivers who cause a serious injury in an accident while using an electronic device could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
Law enforcement in Illinois is expected to increase enforcement of distracted driving laws after the new law goes into effect to crack down on distracted drivers. Distracted driving is very dangerous. Motorists should be aware of the serious consequences they could face if they are caught using their cellphone while driving, especially if they cause a serious or fatal car accident. Drivers can face not only a $75 fine but could also face misdemeanor or more serious charges depending on the severity of the car accident.
Source: Journal Star, “Cellphone ban may make ‘distracted driving’ laws easier to enforce,” Lauren Leone-Cross, Nov. 30, 2013
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