Distracted Driving: Put Down Your Cell Phone

cell phone, cell phone laws, Illinois criminal defense lawyerMost Americans are old enough to remember a time when the fastest way to reach someone was to call them on the telephone at their home or work. If that person was out or on another call, the caller would likely need to try again later. Obviously, the innovation of cellular technology has changed the social mindset on communication completely. Today, virtually anyone can be reached in a matter of seconds, either by phone or text message. However, such convenience has brought with it a new level of danger, especially for those who use mobile technology behind the wheel, leading many states, including Illinois, to place limits on cell phone use while driving.

Cell Phone Restrictions

In 2014, restrictions on the use of cell phones went into effect for Illinois drivers, at the time making Illinois the 12th state to prohibit the use of hand-held phones. According to the law, the hand-held use of a cell phone for voice conversations is prohibited for all drivers throughout the state, with possible exceptions for emergencies. The proper use of GPS devices and other uses of cell phones, including as a music player, are permitted.

Drivers who are 19 and over may conduct conversations via cell phone with the use of a hands-free device or in voice-operated mode. Bus drivers and those under the age of 19 may not use a cell phone even with a hands-free device.

Texting While Driving

In addition to the laws regarding the use of cell phones, Illinois has also enacted measures related to the use of mobile devices to send and receive messages while driving. Emailing or texting while driving is against the law in Illinois for all drivers, regardless of age.

Associated Penalties

Violations related to the use of cell phones and electronic messaging devices are considered primary offenses. This means that a driver may be pulled over and cited for such actions, without the need for an accompanying offense. A violator may be fined up to $75 for a first offense, with penalties increasing for subsequent offenses. Additionally, a driver who is found to be using an electronic device when involved in an accident causing serious injury or death may face criminal charges as well.

If you have received a citation for cell phone use or texting while driving, you may have options available to you. Contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney today to schedule a free consultation. We will evaluate your case and help you decide on the best course of action for your case.

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