As of July 2019, if you are using your cellphone, texting, or using another electronic device while driving, you are in violation of Illinois law. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), cellphone use while driving accounts for 1.6 million crashes per year. In 2018 alone, 2,841 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving or caused directly by distracted drivers.
Part of the growing problem is that most drivers do not realize just how dangerous checking a text really is while driving. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. While driving at 55 miles per hour, you will drive the length of a football field in that amount of time. Now, imagine blindly racing across a football field with other people on it — an obvious danger that no one would willingly do.
Illinois Cell Phone Laws
It is illegal to use your cellphone while driving in Illinois. The only times you are permitted to use your cell phone is:
- To report an emergency situation
- While parked on the shoulder of a roadway
- While stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park
FAQ About Texting-and-Driving in Illinois
What is the Fine for Talking on the Phone While Driving in Illinois?
- $75 fine for a first offense
- $100 for a second offense
- $125 for a third offense
- $150 for a fourth offense
Note: A driver who receives three moving violations within a year will have their driver’s license suspended.
Are Cell Phone Tickets Moving Violations in Illinois?
A first-time offense operating a vehicle while using a handheld mobile device will count as a moving violation. A cellphone ticket will appear on the driver’s record.
Is it Legal to Text at a Red Light?
It is illegal to text or talk on the phone while stopped at a red light or a stop sign. Even though you are stopped, you are still driving and need to remain in control of your vehicle. Additionally, it is important to stay alert as traffic is moving all around you.
Is There a Hands-Free Law in Illinois?
Illinois prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones or other electronic devices while operating a vehicle. Hands-free devices or Bluetooth technology is allowed for drivers age 19 and older.
What if Someone Gets in an Auto Accident While Using an Electronic Device While Driving?
In July 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law that makes it a Class A misdemeanor when a person using an electronic device while driving causes a crash that results in bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another person. If a death results from the accident, it is a Class 4 felony.
Contact Us for More Information
At Sam C. Mitchell & Associates, we have handled many auto accident cases that involved distracted drivers. We utilize the extent of our knowledge and resources every day to help our clients pursue compensation that alleviates their financial burdens after a crash. Our car accident attorneys are capable of managing cases throughout Illinois from our office in West Frankfort.
Contact us today at (618) 505-1660 to begin your claim.