Illinois departments are collaborating to educate drivers on the new cell phone ban.
The Drop it and Drive campaign is a reminder to drivers that starting January 1, 2014 the use of hand-held cell phones were banned while driving.
Fines for violating the new law start at $75. If a driver is caught violating the law more than once they could pay $150 and eventually have their driver’s license suspended.
“Distracted driving is a problem in Illinois and across the nation,” said Governor Pat Quinn. “This important campaign will help ensure the message gets through loud and clear – if you use a hand-held device while driving, you will get a ticket.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation said that drivers using hand-held phones are four times more likely to get into a crash that causes injuries.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said that roughly 800,000 people at any given time are using hand-held cell phones while driving.
“Through this campaign, we are getting the message out there to motorists that no phone call, text message, status update, or tweet is as important as the lives of others,” said Secretary of State Jesse White.
Illinois is the 12th state to ban the use of hand-held devices while driving. Texting and driving was banned in 2010.
Illinois law also bans using any cell phone in a work zone or within 500 feet of an emergency scene. For more info on those regulations, click here.