Cell phones banned for Illinois' teen drivers

| Friday, July 22, 2005

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.

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