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Illinois Legislators Introduce Hand-held Device Ban for Drivers

January 26, 2012

On Jan. 10 in the Illinois General Assembly, two state representatives introduced similar legislation that would change the state’s vehicle code to restrict electronic device use to hands-free only while driving for all drivers. Currently, texting while driving is illegal in the state.

Reps. Karen May and John D’Amico introduced the two bills. D’Amico’s bill, now co-sponsored by Rep. David Harris, was assigned to the transportation committee on Jan. 24. The bill, HB-3972, defines an electronic device as a “wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer, but does not include a global position system or navigation system or a device that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.”

The law does not apply to law enforcement officers or emergency vehicle operators; in an emergency to report a situation; or when the vehicle is stopped in traffic and the vehicle is in neutral or park. (To see the bill’s most current status and working text, click here.)

SPRINGFIELD, IL - According to The Daily Northwestern, May introduced hand-held electronic device legislation two years ago, but it didn’t pass. Since then, many Illinois municipalities have already made hand-held electronic device use illegal while driving.

May told the The Daily Northwestern that this legislation is a step toward banning all use of cell phones, including hands free. A city councilmember of Evanston, Ill., for example, said she plans to introduce a city ordinance that would ban all use of cell phones while driving, which would include Bluetooth devices.

For a blog on the discussion of full bans on electronic-devices, click here.

Drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle are already restricted from using an electronic device while driving after a federal ban became effective Jan. 1. Click here for an article on the penalties, to see a PDF of the final rule announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation and for a feature on how small businesses can create effective cell phone policies. 

For the full article from The Daily Northwestern, click on the URL:

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