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Talking and Driving Now Illegal In Illinois

Texting and driving has been illegal in Illinois for some time now. For those of you who like to talk and drive, be aware-or beware-that the General Assembly has passed a blanket ban on all uses of "electronic communication devices" while driving. The amended law now prohibits the use of the following devices for any purpose: hand-held wireless telephones, hand-held personal digital assistants, and portable or mobile computers. This means that you will risk being ticketed if you hold a cell phone to your ear while talking to your grandma on the other end. A sure way to avoid such a situation is to buy-and actually use-a hands-free device; the device must be capable of answering calls by pressing a single button. Further, the law does not prohibit use of global positioning systems (GPS), navigation systems, and devices that are physically or electronically integrated into the vehicle.

The maximum fine for a first offense is $75. A second or subsequent offense will be considered a moving violation, and may be punishable by a maximum fine of $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2014.

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