Starting Jan. 1, motorists can talk and drive only if they use a hands-free device to conduct cellphone conversations in Illinois. That will dramatically change the day-to-day routine for millions of Illinoisans, or force them to shop around for yet another high-tech device for the car.
The uniform ban supplements the state’s current ban on texting and replaces assorted local laws on cellphone use that vary from town to town, including Chicago, where a cellphone ban has been in place since 2006.
Violators face fines starting at $75, and repeat offenses bring the possibility of a suspended license.
State Sen. John Mulroe, a Chicago Democrat who sponsored the law, said witnessing several near-accidents during trips to Springfield convinced him that “hands on the wheel and eyes on the road are the way to go.” While he says the law won’t eliminate distractions, he hopes it’ll cut down on accidents.