Illinois Law prohibits Use of Cellphones While Driving

Illinois Law prohibits the Use of Cellphones While Driving: Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Illinois law prohibits the use of cellphones while driving with the exception of using hands-free or Blue Tooth technology. Drivers under age 19, however, are prohibited from any cellphone usage, including hands-free devices. Definitions: “Electronic communication device” means an electronic device, including but not limited to a hand-held wireless telephone, hand-held personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer, but does not include a global positioning system or navigation system or a device that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle. “Electronic message” means a self-contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices. “Electronic message” includes, but is not limited to electronic mail, a text message, an instant message, a digital photograph, a video, or a command or request to access an Internet site. The Law: 1. A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device. 2. A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message. Fines: A second or subsequent violation of this Section is an offense against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles. A person who violates this Section shall be fined a maximum of $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense. A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message. There are circumstances when using your cell phone is not prohibited: IF YOU ARE: (1) a law enforcement officer or operator of an emergency vehicle while performing his or her official duties; (2) a driver using an electronic communication device for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel during the emergency situation; (3) a driver using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-operated mode; (4) a driver of a commercial motor vehicle reading a message displayed on a permanently installed communication device designed for a commercial motor vehicle with a screen that does not exceed 10 inches tall by 10 inches wide in size; (5) a driver using an electronic communication device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway; or (6) a driver using an electronic communication device when the vehicle is stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the driver has the motor vehicle transmission in neutral or park. Sections: (b) A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message. (b-5) A person commits aggravated use of an electronic communication device when he or she violates subsection (b) and in committing the violation he or she was involved in a motor vehicle accident that results in great bodily harm, permanent disability, disfigurement, or death to another and the violation was a proximate cause of the injury or death. A person convicted of violating subsection (b-5) commits a Class A misdemeanor if the violation resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another. A person convicted of violating subsection (b-5) commits a Class 4 felony if the violation resulted in the death of another person. (Source: P.A. 97-828, eff. 7-20-12; 98-507, eff. 1-1-14.)