With over 90% of Americans owning a cell phone, the number of people driving with them has increased in recent years. When going to or coming from a destination, individuals often reach for their devices to send a quick message or make a quick call to the person they're meeting up with or just left, informing them of their arrival time or letting them know they made it home safely. Additionally, with various map apps, having a phone in the car helps ensure that the driver is getting to where they need to go.
Unfortunately, cell phones, with their constant alerts and such, are distractions to drivers. Using one while operating a vehicle could cause an individual to take their eyes off the road, resulting in an accident. Because of this, lawmakers have sought ways to minimize cell phone distractions by enacting legislation that bans their use in vehicles.
Extending Previous Cell Phone-Related Law
In July of 2019, a new law went into effect in Illinois that bans individuals from holding their phones while driving.
Under the new Illinois statute, if an officer catches a person holding a phone or any other electronic device while driving, they could issue a citation for the traffic offense. The state previously had a “no texting” law that prohibited drivers from sending or receiving text messages while behind the wheel. However, officials said that it was hard to enforce because a person could be using their phone for something other than texting, such as entering an address on a navigation app.
Now, people driving in Illinois are not allowed to hold their phones or other electronic devices with any part of their body when the car is not in neutral or park.
Holding a phone while driving could result in the following fines:
- $75 for a first offense
- $100 for a second offense
- $125 for a third offense
- $150 for any subsequent offenses
Additionally, if a person violates this law three times in one year, they could be subject to a driver's license suspension.
Exceptions to the New Law
The law doesn't ban all cell phone use while driving.
The following are exceptions to the new law:
- Law enforcement officers carrying out official duties
- Drivers reporting emergencies
- Individuals using a voice-operated mode on their phones or a hands-free device, such as Bluetooth or headsets
- Drivers parked on the shoulder of a road or highway
- Drivers stopped at a natural traffic obstruction, such as waiting for a passing train, and their car is in neutral or park
When Hands-Free Is Never Allowed
Although drivers can generally use hands-free capabilities when traveling on the road, in some circumstances, such action is prohibited.
Hands-free is never allowed:
- In school zones
- In construction areas
- Within 500 feet of an emergency site
- When the driver is under 18 years of age
Contact Ahmad Law Firm for Seasoned Legal Representation
If you received a citation for driving while using a cell phone or other traffic infraction in Arlington Heights, it's imperative to get legal guidance from an experienced and skilled attorney. Our lawyers from Ahmad Law Firm have extensive experience practicing law and have tried thousands of cases. We can provide the aggressive counsel you need to fight your ticket.
Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (847) 791-2294 or contacting us online.