When can I use a cell phone?

In 2018, Illinois State Police issued 15,150 citations for distracted driving. As of July 1st, 2019, Illinois law prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones, texting or using any other electronic device while driving. Hands free devices, such as Blue Tooth technology, are allowed for drivers aged 19 and over. The only time an Illinois driver may use a cell phone that is not hands free is to report an emergency, while parked on the shoulder of the roadway, or while being stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park.

What is an electronic device?

Electronic devices, as defined by the statute, include hand-held wireless phones, hand-held personal digital assistants, and portable computers. Drivers are still able to use navigation systems or global positioning systems that can be physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle, which includes dashboard mounted GPS units. Using an electronic communication device with a wired headset is allowed, but drivers should always be cautious when dialing or searching for a contact in their phone.

Penalties for Texting While Driving

Texting while driving, or distracted driving, is considered a moving violation. Violating this law can result in a maximum fine of up to $75 for the first offense, up to $100 for a second offense, up to $125 for a third offence, and up to $150 for a fourth or any future offenses. It is also important to note that three moving violations in a year could lead to a license suspension, and could have even harsher consequences for drivers aged 19 and younger.

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