A new rule in effect in Illinois is designed to cut cell phone use by teen drivers.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law July 15 prohibiting any person who has a driver’s permit or a graduated license from using a cell phone while driving. It exempts emergency phone calls.
Unlike many similar efforts, the new law does not make an exception for phones used in conjunction with a “hands-free” device.
It applies only to drivers under age 18 and is a primary offense. Violators will face a $75 fine.
The new rule, previously SB210, follows a recent study by the University of Utah that found that when drivers between the ages of 18 and 25 talk on cell phones, they drive like elderly people – moving and reacting more slowly and increasing their risk of accidents.