Cell Phone/Texting While Driving Violations
The traffic attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. frequently represent clients charged with Illinois cell phone violations. Cell phones have become an essential part of everyday life and, for better or worse, keep us constantly connected to the digital world. Our dependence on smartphones has led to a sharp rise in cell phone use while driving.What is the Cell Phone Law in Illinois?
In Illinois, the use of a wireless telephone in a motor vehicle is governed by Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2, which prohibits drivers from using any "electronic communication device" while driving. Electronic communication devices include hand-held wireless telephones, hand-held personal digital assistants, laptop computers, and other portable computers. Additionally, you may not use a cell phone in a school or construction zone. GPS or navigation systems that are physically or electronically-integrated into the vehicle are exempt from this law.
Beginning July 1, 2019, even a first offense for texting while driving will become a moving violation under Illinois law. Currently, the law only treats a second or subsequent offense as a moving violation. Moving violations are traffic offenses which are assigned points and count toward a license suspension. Moving violations appear on your driving record and typically result in insurance premium increases. Also, under the new law, drivers are subject to higher minimum fines after a first offense.
A driver may be charged with aggravated use of a wireless telephone if the illegal cell phone use results in an accident. The offense is charged as a Class 4 Felony if the accident results in death and a Class A misdemeanor if "great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement" occurs as a result of the illegal cell phone use.Cell Phone use in School and Construction Zones
Cell phone use it not permitted while driving through a school or construction zone or within 500 feet of an emergency scene (625 ILCS 5/12-610.1(e)). An emergency scene is defined as a location where an emergency vehicle is present and engaging its oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights. If the violation is a proximate cause of death or significant injury to another person it will be charged as a Class 4 felony and, if it results in "great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement", the offense will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor.Use of Cell Phones by Commercial Drivers
Illinois law provides specific guidelines for cell phone usage by commercial drivers (CDL holders - 625 ILCS 5/6-500, 5/6-525 and 5/6-527). A conviction is considered a "serious traffic violation" for CDL purposes. CDL drivers may not text while driving a commercial motor vehicle. In addition, a motor carrier may not allow their drivers to text while driving (this includes while the vehicle is temporarily stationary). The definition of texting is very broad and includes entering OR reading text from an electronic device and includes web browsing. Texting in order to communicate with emergency services is a listed exception. In addition, a driver may use GPS navigation systems and may press a single button to start or end a call.We can Help
If you have been issued a ticket for a cell phone violation, whether talking on your phone without using a hands-free device or texting, including using a wireless phone in a construction zone or school zone, contact the attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. to discuss your case. Our traffic attorneys practice throughout Illinois including Cook County, Lake County, and DuPage County Counties. We will work hard to ensure the best possible result and keep your driving record clean.