New laws restrict cell phone use
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a trio of distracted driving laws into effect.
The governor signed the legislation Friday, July 20, 2012.
One of the new laws prohibits commercial drivers from texting or using handheld cell phones while driving. That law becomes effective January 1, 2013.
Also effective January 1 is a new law which prohibits the use of all cell phones by drivers in all roadway work zones. Previously, the law prohibited cell phone use only in work zones with reduced speed limits.
Effective immediately, all drivers in Illinois are prohibited from using cell phones within 500 feet of an emergency scene.
In Illinois, drivers younger than 19 are already prohibited from using wireless phones while driving, even with a hands-free device. All Illinois drivers are currently prohibited from texting and related activities while they’re behind the wheel, and cell phone use is prohibited in school speed zones and road work zones.
Chicago drivers are required to use hands-free devices while they drive. Violators face fines of up to $500.