Effective January 1, 2014, Illinois law has been amended to prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones and other hand-held electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.
Illinois law previously has banned texting while operating a motor vehicle.
Use of voice-activated phones, including the use of a headset, is exempt, as is use of handheld cell phones to report an emergency.
Motorists may use hand-held 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.
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.
However, should an accident occur where the driver was using a hand-held 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.