Legislation sponsored by State Rep. John D’Amico, aimed at reducing distracted driving and protecting motorists, was signed into law on Friday, August 16, 2013.
“Distracted driving is a serious and growing problem,” D’Amico said. “This legislation addresses a major cause of distracted driving and forces drivers to return their attention to the road. By increasing restrictions on using a phone while driving, we are making our roads safer.”
D’Amico was the chief sponsor of House Bill 1247, which prohibits drivers from using hand-held electronic devices, including cell phones. The new law will require drivers to use a headset and operate electronic devices in a hands-free or voice operated mode. The law does not prohibit drivers from using navigation devices.
The first time drivers are caught using a hand-held electronic device, they will be charged with a non-violation and a $75 fine. Drivers will be charged with a moving violation and face increased fines for each subsequent offence.
Seventy-six communities in Illinois currently have cell phone bans. This law would provide uniformity for drivers across the state. Illinois will be the twelfth state to enact a statewide ban on using electronic devices while driving.
“When drivers are on their cell phones, they put their lives and the lives of other drivers and passengers in danger,” D’Amico said. “Whoever is at the other end of the phone can wait until you reach your destination. I will continue pushing for legislation to increase the safety of Illinois motorists.”
D’Amico’s legislation will become effective on January 1, 2014. For more information, contact Rep. D’Amico’s constituent service office at (773) 736-0218.