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What you should know about Illinois distracted driving laws

On Behalf of | May 29, 2015 | Car Accidents

Since January 1, 2014, Illinois banned the use of all hand-held devices while driving. Hands-free technology is permitted, including bluetooth, headsets and speakerphones. Also, if you are stopped in normal traffic and your vehicle is in neutral or park, it is permissible to use an electronic device. Other exceptions for permitted use of cell phones include reporting an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel.

Punishment for failure to obey these laws includes fines for first offense at $75, and each subsequent offense at $100, $125 and $150. If an offender commits a violation resulting in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Further, any individual who violates Illinois electronic communication driving laws commits a Class 4 felony if it results in death of another person. Recently, an amendment to the law was introduced to increase the penalty from a Class 4 to a Class 2 felony. The amendment proposes to increase offender punishment to a minimum term of 480 hours of community service.

According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 24 percent of all traffic crashes, or about 1.2 million per year, are linked to motorists texting or talking on cell phones. Distracted driving can be prevented or minimized by waiting to make a call or using hands free devices. If you were injured in a collision by a driver who was texting and driving, please feel free to contact our office for a free legal consultation.

The attorneys at Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid are committed to representing people who have been seriously injured and incur significant medical expenses as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continue to handle automobile claims and all types of other personal injury cases in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Kendall Counties and all throughout the Chicagoland area.