Beware motorists! If anyone thought there was a grace period, or that the legislature and the police were not really serious about the January 2014 cell phone ban, they would be wrong. Just last Friday morning at 8:00 am, as I was going to court with my partner on a remarkably traffic free Kennedy, we saw a most remarkable sight. Seven Illinois State Troopers stopped motorists for failing to abide by the hands-free cell phone law, in a time span of 7 minutes.
The Illinois State Police rejects drivers’ claims they are unaware of the law because the Police Department made a consistent effort to apprise motorists of the new law including broadcasting on the Internet and radio. Lawmakers passed the hands-free cell phone law in an effort to decrease motor vehicle accidents. In this day and age, cell phones are extremely distracting, even more so because they are connected to our hip twenty-four hours a day. Using a cell phone while traveling at high speeds on expressways or through neighborhoods where children are playing is extremely dangerous to everyone on the road, from pedestrians to bicyclists and motorists. We posted about this law a few months ago in an effort to warn people about the impact of this new law. Check out that post here.
Motorists in Springfield had no grace period. Since the cellphone ban went into effect on January 1st, Springfield police have written 313 citations to drivers breaking the law. The Springfield Police Department traffic services supervisor remarked that while other law enforcement agencies gave motorists a grace period, Springfield chose not to. Here is a link to the law and here is a link to the Springfield article.
What Is Notable About This New Law:
1. The cost of the ticket (fines up to $150 per offense)
2. The citation is considered a moving violation
3. The citation gives police probable cause to search your vehicle, detain you, etc., and whatever else that may lead to another charged offense.
Here at Laura Law we like to keep our readers abreast of new changes to the law and the sometimes devastating consequences for your driving and/or criminal record. If you recently received one of these tickets it would be unwise not take it seriously. As a moving violation, if your record has other moving violations within a certain time frame you may unwittingly be facing a suspended license, we can help you decipher this. Call now for a free consultation to see if we can be of help to your legal needs.