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What is the Penalty for Using Your Phone While Driving in Illinois?

Updated on June 7, 2023 → Under

In the state of Illinois, it is illegal to be using your phone while driving. This includes talking on a cellphone, texting, emailing, or using other apps. Violators of cell phone laws caught by police officers can be fined up to $75 for their first electronic device traffic law offense and up to $150 for subsequent traffic violation offenses.

Drivers under 19 years old face an even steeper penalty; they can be fined up to $200 for their first offense and up to $500 for subsequent offenses. Distracted drivers who cause bodily harm or permanent disability as a result of their offense may face suspension or revocation of their driving privileges.

If you have been caught using a mobile device while driving, contact the experienced Rolling Meadow traffic lawyers at Dohman Law Group today. Call 847-359-4005 to talk to a member of our staff!

Regulations Regarding Cell Phone Use While Driving

According to Illinois law, it is prohibited to use a cell phone, portable computer, or any other handheld device while driving a motor vehicle in order to protect people from distracted driving. In Illinois, using hand-held devices while driving is banned since January 1, 2014. Drivers under 19 years old can't use wireless or cellular devices while driving, except to contact a law enforcement agency, health care provider, or emergency services agency. The law aims to increase safety on the roads and deter reckless driving.

a man using his phone while driving in Illinois

Cell phone use is also not allowed in school and construction zones. Distracted driving from cell phone use causes 16% of all fatal distracted driving crashes. Talking on the phone can reduce brain activity related to driving by up to 37%.

Adhering to these laws while operating a vehicle can lower the likelihood of committing a cell phone driving offense.

Distracted Driving Statistics in Illinois

The legislation was altered to reduce the number of car accidents caused by distracted driving actions. Despite laws in some states and technology, studies show that these measures have not been enough in deterring the behavior.

In 2020, 15.6 percent of young drivers admitted to using their phones while driving, and 20 percent were unaware of the consequences. When other distractions like conversations, eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, and attending to children are factored in, the rate of distraction increases. Therefore, more measures are necessary for there to be fewer incidents on the road.

Are There Exemptions to the Distracted Driving Laws in Illinois?

Illinois has prohibited the use of phones while driving, except for a few exceptions. This is to prevent accidents caused by distractions. Reporting emergencies at emergency scenes, contacting law enforcement officers, and addressing traffic obstructions are necessary procedures.

a teenager at risk because he's texting and driving

Bluetooth or hands-free mode is allowed, but not in certain areas. Similar laws have failed statewide in Michigan, but some cities have regulations. Other states are considering laws that ban all phone use while driving. Following these laws is crucial for road safety across the country.

Penalties and Fines for Using Your Cell Phone While Driving

Using a cell phone while driving is a bad driving habit and can result in a traffic ticket with unique penalties in each state. The first offense's maximum fine is $75. Second cell phone violations have fines from $100 to $125, and fourth or subsequent offenses could lead to fines up to $150.

Court fees and other costs may also apply. Insurance companies rates may increase with points from moving violations. Multiple offenses in some states could lead to community service or license suspension.

Learn More: Check Out These Other Types of Distraced Driving!

Avoid penalties for texting and cell phone calls by keeping your device out of reach while driving and only using hands-free devices for calls or texts. Awareness of the risks can save time and money.

Distracted Driving in Illinois and Increased Insurance Rates

In Illinois, distracted driving on a cellular phone can have costly consequences. Tougher laws in July 2019 made it a moving violation that insurers can now see on your driving record. If caught, your car insurance rates can increase by up to $120 per year, depending on your insurer and driving record. Discounts or perks based on safety may also be taken away after a citation for distracted driving, leading to an even higher rate hike.

Is a Ticket for Using Your Phone While Driving Classified as a Moving Violation?

The use of a handheld cell phone while driving is considered a moving violation. The first offense may lead to a fine of up to $75, while subsequent offenses may result in a fine of up to $150. Using your phone while driving can also raise your insurance premiums.

someone using their phone to take a picture while driving

All states have laws to reduce distracted driving, including Illinois. Drivers in Illinois must keep their hands free from phones and other handheld devices, including talking, texting, or any activity that requires the use of hands. Breaking these laws can result in fines and license suspensions.

Contact Dohman Law Today for More Information!

Driving and using a cell phone in Illinois can lead to a steep penalty. First-time offenders may be fined $75-$150, while repeat offenders may face a fine of up to $500. Additionally, drivers may have their license suspended or revoked and receive points on their record. Seeking legal counsel from an experienced attorney is crucial for those charged with a cell phone ticket in Illinois.

At Dohman Law, we can help you understand your rights and work towards a favorable outcome. Contact us at 847-359-4005 today for more information or a consultation.

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