The Chicago Tribune reported today that the Illinois House has passed a bill to make it a moving violation if you are caught driving while using a cell phone without a hands-free device.
The Tribune reports that:
[The bill] is similar to Chicago’s years-old ban on drivers using phones without an earpiece.
One big difference is that violating the city ban results in a ticket, but the state version would count the offense as a moving violation, just as a driver caught speeding. Drivers can lose their licenses if they get three moving violations within a year.
Currently, many localities have similar cell phone bans, but not all, so that one can legally drive while holding a cell phone on side of the street and be in violation of the law on the other.
The bill would have to pass the Illinois Senate and be signed into law by Governor Quinn before it would be effective.
In addition, Evanston is considering a stronger proposal, which would ban all use of cell phones while driving, including “hands-free” use.