Illinois becomes the twelfth state to ban hand-held devices behind the wheel, according to a Yahoo! News report on Friday, when the state’s Gov. Pat Quinn signed two new state laws which are to take effect next Jan. 1.
The law involving the prohibition of driving with hand-held devices becomes the law for all Illinois roads and is designed to make Illinois highways a safer place for everyone.
The other law involves an increased fine for persons who cause an accident while using a hand-held electronic device. That increased punishment may include prison time for the violating driver.
The current law only allows authorities to ticket persons who violate the no-hand-held-device law to be charged with a traffic violation.
Hands-free devices, including electronic devices with headsets are allowed.
The issue came up several years ago in Chicago when police were issuing warnings, and then tickets, for persons talking on their phones while driving due to the insinuation that talking on a phone was a cause for distracted driving. Since, it has been accepted to talk on a phone while driving, as long as a driver’s hands are free to operate the vehicle.