Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, using hand-held cell phones/PDA devices while driving will be illegal in Illinois under HB 1247, which was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn last Friday. Electronic communications devices CAN be used in your vehicle if the driver is using it hands-free or in voice-operated mode, which may include the use of a headset.
House Bill 2585 increases the penalties that can be imposed on drivers whose use of an electronic device while driving causes an accident. If the accident causes great bodily harm, the driver can be sentenced to up to 1 year in prison, and a fatal accident can result in a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years. Current law only allows these drivers to be charged with traffic violations.