Illinois Bans Cell Phone Use While Driving

Person using cell phone while driving.

The Illinois legislature recently passed Public Act 098-0506. This act will make it a violation of Illinois law to use a cell phone while driving. The law will take effect January 1, 2014. This Act effectively modified current Illinois law that made it unlawful to use a cell phone to text while driving. In essence, the Act expands the law to make it illegal to use an “electronic communication device” (among other things, a cell phone) in any manner while driving. This could include phone calls, texting, or using an app on the phone. While the law does not make it illegal to use a global positioning system (“GPS”) or a navigation system, what is not clear is whether using a smart phone equipped with a GPS app or function would be illegal under the law as it is now written. Certain Illinois municipalities, including Chicago, already have laws on the books making cell phone use while driving illegal.

It will be interesting to see how this law affects claims of negligent operation of a car or truck due to the driver’s use of a cell phone. Certainly this is the Illinois legislature’s acknowledgment that the use of a cell phone while driving is a dangerous activity that can cause serious injury or death to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

Enhanced by Zemanta