New Law Forces Illinois Drivers To Put Down Phones


Governor. Pat Quinn has just signed a statewide law that nobody will be able to talk on their hand-held phone while driving. The law will take effect on January 1, 2014.

The Daily Illinois’ website noted that “cell phones are a huge distraction for drivers and misuse can end in the same result as many drunk driving accidents.”

It went on to defend the law stating that “this will pave the way to safer roads for pedestrians and fellow drivers.”

According to The National Safety Council, “an estimated 24 percent of all traffic crashes – about 1.2 million per year – are linked to motorists texting or talking on cell phones.”

To bring the numbers a bit closer to home, the Illinois Tollway noted that cell phone distractions, including texting, were the primary or secondary cause of more than 600 crashes in the first half of 2012.

The financial consequences in terms of fines for failing to put down your phone while driving begin at $75 and can go as high as $150.

“The idea is safety first, because too many crashes happen from distractions caused by people on their phone,” said Mark Valentis, a Drivers Education teacher at East.

You can still stay connected through the use of your Bluetooth as that is still legal.

But looking at this rule will it really make Illinois safer, or will it simply be ignored by police and drivers alike?

“I think police will take this rule seriously,” Valentis said. Adding that ”people who break the rules enough will sooner or later find themselves in big trouble because of using their phones, mainly in lawsuits.”

Drivers who have become so dependant on their phones may not realize the positives to this state law.

“There are too many drivers out there that cannot handle driving and talking at the same time,” Valentis said.

“I am not sure the brain can process so many things at once, and a fraction of a second could mean the difference between an accident or not.”