Illinois law bars drivers from using a cellphone while driving in a school zone, construction zone, or within fifty feet of an emergency zone. 625 ILCS 5/12-610.1(e). Drivers are also banned from composing, sending, or reading electronic communications while driving. 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2. And, drivers under age 19 years who have an instruction permit or a graduated license may not use a cellphone while driving. 625 ILCS 5/12-610.1(b).
Repeated Violations of Illinois Law
In 2011, 4103 traffic stops were made in Illinois for violations of the state’s cellphone laws. There were 2818 stops for using cellphones in school and construction zones, which resulted in 1880 citations. There were 1300 stops for texting while driving, which resulted in 839 citations. This is a much lower number than the 7800 drivers who were stopped for violating the same laws in 2010.
Seventy-six municipalities in Illinois have cellphone ordinances, but many of these merely adopt the state laws above. Since 2005, Chicago has banned drivers from talking on cell phones without a hands free device. Eleven other municipalities have enacted hand-held cellphone bans similar to Chicago’s ban. Evanston is currently considering an ordinance that would ban the use of hand-held and hands-free cell phones, which would be the most restrictive ordinance in the nation.
Now, the state is considering a statewide ban of driving while talking on hand-held cellphones. The House passed the bill on March 8, 2012 and HB3972 is now in the Senate. Under this bill, a violation would be a moving violation just as a speeding ticket. If the bill passes, Illinois will be the tenth state to ban hand-held cellphones while driving.
Cell Phones Lead To Distracted Drivers & Increased Accident Rates
Cell phone bans are in place to prevent distracted drivers and improve traffic safety. However, it has been difficult to prove that a crash occurred because someone was using his or her cellphone. And, research has suggested that hands-free devices do little to improve safety because the conversation is still distracting, even if the driver has two hands on the wheel.
A 2010 National Safety Council report estimated that at least 28% of traffic crashes (1.6 million crashes_ involve drivers talking on their cell phones or texting. A 2009 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study reflected that 43% of people support total bans on cellphones. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 11% of all drivers are on their cell phones at any one time. The educational value of these reports and statistics will hopefully reduce the number of distracted drivers on the road and improve traffic safety.
A Chicago Accident Law Firm That Understands The Dangers Of Distracted Drivers
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has experience litigating motor vehicle accident cases involving drivers distracted by talking and texting on their cell phones. Our attorneys regularly conduct discovery in car accident cases with an eye towards distracted drivers in order to maximize the value of each case for our clients. If you were involved in an accident with a distracted driver, contact our office today to learn your legal rights. (847) 835-8895