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Will Illinois’ New Ban On Hand-Held Cell Phone Use Reduce Distracted Driving Accidents

Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd.
Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd.

March 28, 2014

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On January 1, 2014, a statewide ban on hand-held cell phone use went into effect, and it makes talking on your hand-held phone while you drive a primary offense. That means you can get pulled over for it. Illinois already had a ban on texting while driving, but since handheld phone calls were allowed, it was difficult to enforce. This new law brings the rest up Illinois up-to-date with Chicago, which has had the ban in effect for years, but recent study questions whether it will effectively curb distracted driving.

Chicago had the Highest Use

In November, 2013, the Illinois Department of Transportation drivers on roads all over the state to establish a baseline for future studies on the effectiveness of the new law. They observed over 33,000 and found that nearly 18% of Chicago drivers were using handheld devices, the highest rate in the state. At that time, the state law was not in effect, but the Chicago ban had been in effect for years. The study suggests that simply making cell phone use and texting illegal is not enough to prevent distracted driving.

The new state law permits hands-free device use, and lets drivers use the phone or text at stoplights and stop signs, as long as the vehicle is in park or neutral. Emergency calls are still permitted on a handheld device.

To learn more about distracted driver accidents, in Illinois, please call us today at (312) 313-2888. 

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