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: http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/city/illinois-lawmakers-propose-statewide-ban-on-phones-while-driving-1.2689507#.TyGKt1xSS3E

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet