Effective January 1, 2014, Illinois law has been amended to prohibit the use of handheld cell phones and other handheld electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle (625 ILCS 5/12-610.2 ).
Violation of this law is a primary offense. Law enforcement officers must report when cell phone use is considered to be involved in a vehicular accident. Fines for violation of the law start at $75 for a first offense, with subsequent fines increasing to $100, $125, and $150.
However, should an accident occur where the driver was using a handheld device, and the accident caused great bodily harm to others, the driver will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Should such an accident result in the death of another person, the driver will be charged with a Class 4 felony.
Motorists may use handheld devices when pulled off roadways to the shoulder and stopped or when stopped in traffic due to an obstruction, and the vehicle is in neutral or park.
Use of voice-activated phones, including the use of a headset, is exempt, as is use of handheld cell phones to report an emergency.
Note:Motorists may not use any cell phones within 500 feet of an emergency scene or take pictures or videos at emergency scenes using cell phones.
All drivers are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device, including a cell phone or computer, to compose, send, or read an electronic message, including text messages, instant messages, and e-mails, or to use the Internet (625 ILCS 5/12-610.2 ).
The law does not apply to the use of global positioning systems or other navigation systems.
The law permits the use of electronic communication devices to report emergency ...