New limits on cellphone use for Illinois drivers

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Drivers in Illinois are coming under more pressure to stay off their cellphone as a result of four new laws Governor Quinn signed on Friday. Governor Quinn says it is the states way to crack down on distracted driving.

Starting immediately, mobile use within 500 feet of an emergency zone is prohibited. This also includes using a cellphone to take photos near emergency sites.

Another measure prohibits the use of cellphones by drivers in all roadwork zones. Previously, that restriction only applied to work zones with speed limit reductions.

Another law bans commercial drivers from using any hand-held cellphone. Previously, school bus drivers were banned from all cellphone use.

Both of those laws take effect January 1, 2013.

Quinn also signed bill now as Julie‚Äôs Law, which targets excessive speeders. The new law denies court supervision for those going 25 miles over the speed limit on city streets and 35 miles per hour on the highway. The proposed law is named after Julie Gorczysnski, an Orland Park teenager killed by a driver who’d received court supervision seven times after excessive speeding tickets.

Illinois is one of six states in which localities are allowed to ban cell phone use for all drivers. Currently, Chicago is the only major city in Illinois in which driving while using a cell phone is illegal under any circumstances.