The laws across the state are continually evolving, and the focus in Illinois is on reducing the number of accidents due to distracted driving. In the past, police departments across the state have not always ticketed the use of cell phones at red lights, but that is now changing.
As of July of 2019, it became illegal for drivers to use cell phones at any time when they are behind the wheel and on the road. This includes if the driver is currently stopped at a red light or at a stop sign. Additionally, stops in the past could result in a warning ticket, but this has also changed. Having a cell phone in your hand as a driver for any reason when the vehicle is running will result in a ticket with the first offense, which is categorized as a moving violation.
What is Allowed
Drivers over the age of 19 will be able to use their cell phones in their vehicles if they are using a hands-free device. This can include using the phone through the vehicle speaker system or using a Bluetooth device to control the phone.
For drivers under the age of 19, using the vehicle’s speaker system or a Bluetooth device is not allowed. This is a critical distinction and one that is sure to trip up some of the younger drivers who may not be anticipating an issue if they are using a hands-free setup in the vehicle.
The Importance of Having an Attorney
As moving violations can impact your driver’s record significantly, particularly if you have more than one charge, it is critical to work with an experienced traffic ticket defense attorney. The lawyers at Driver Defense Team have experience in defending clients charged with distracted driving, including providing legal representation in court, if required.
Understanding your rights as well as the possible outcomes or penalties involved with these types of tickets is essential in making an informed decision as to how to proceed. In some cases, our attorneys may be able to negotiate the ticket or to determine if any technicalities occurred that may be instrumental in getting the ticket dismissed or receiving a reduce charge, fee, or fine.