Illinois legislature approves cellphone while driving ban, awaits Governor’s signature

nophoneThe Illinois Senate has joined the House in passing a statewide cellphone while driving ban.  Now it it up to Governor Quinn to sign it into law.  From the Chicago Tribune:

Drivers forced to navigate a confusing patchwork of cellphone restrictions in the Chicago area will no longer have to wonder whether they are breaking the law if Gov. Pat Quinn signs a sweeping ban on hand-held devices.

Coming four years after a statewide ban on texting and driving, the new law would require motorists to keep both hands free while using a cellphone or risk a $75 fine.

For those accustomed to having a cellphone stuck to an ear while driving, it hasn’t been easy knowing where it’s legal to gab away. A Tribune survey last year of 270 municipalities showed that 76 had an ordinance governing when and how motorists could use cellphones…

“We’re still allowing you to have a conversation; just have it over the hands-free device,” [Rep. John D’Amico] said.

Motorists would be allowed to use a hand-held phone only for emergencies, and the $75 fine would be imposed for a first offense. Additional violations would be more expensive and become part of the motorist’s state driving record.

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