Illinois’ Ban on Electronic Communication Devices While Driving Takes Effect January 1, 2014

The amendment to the Illinois Vehicle Code expands the existing ban on e-mailing while driving.  The new act goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. The law prohibits the use of all electronic communication devices while driving with a few narrow exceptions. 

Except for hands-free telephone use, GPS navigation, CB and Ham radios and emergency situations, Illinois drivers will be prohibited from using electronic communication devices.  This would obviously include handheld mobile telephones, texting and e-mailing. 

The new law reads this way:  A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device.  The Public Act 98-0506  originally contained words at the end of the current act that read: “. . . to compose, send or read an electronic message.” The way the law is written now, there should be no confusion.

An interesting article appeared in the Illinois Bar Journal that pointed out that although it is not illegal to eat behind the wheel, it is now illegal to use a cell phone.  The question was asked: Why is eating a hamburger less dangerous than texting?  The answer apparently is that studies have found that using a cell phone for example is more distracting than eating.  It’s hard to argue with any legislation that would make drivers, pedestrians and other users of roadways, including bicyclists and pedestrians safer.  With technological advances, the use of a cell phone to text, email and talk may be passé’ because of voice activated programs that can accomplish the same thing without touching or looking.

The purpose of the new law is to make Illinois highways safer for everyone.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Northbrook, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, Hillside, Elmhurst, Western Springs, Countryside, Worth, Chicago (Marquette Park, Englewood, Woodlawn, Jackson Park, Washington Park, Stockyards), Worth and Stickney, Ill.

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