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Ban on cellphone use while driving soon in effect in Illinois

Deciding to drive a vehicle is a serious responsibility that shouldn’t involve any sort of distractions. Unfortunately, drivers sometimes decide to talk on a cellphone or text while they drive. Those distractions can lead to car accidents that result in serious injuries or even death. Peoria residents will probably appreciate this reminder of a ban that is forthcoming against texting and driving or using a cellphone while driving.

With the turn of the year comes new restrictions on what drivers can do while driving. Any driver who is texting or using a handheld device will face stiff penalties in Illinois. Police officers will look for drivers who are going off the road, crossing the center line or slowing down traffic. The hope is that the new law will cut down on the number of drivers, which is currently estimated at 1-in-8 or 1-in-9, who text and drive.

The fines range from $75 to $150 if no injuries or accidents occur as the result of cellphone usage or texting while driving. A driver who is distracted by a cellphone and injures someone would face a class A misdemeanor, while a distracted driver who causes a fatal injury would face a class 4 felony. The notable exception to the law against cellphone usage is if the call is because of an emergency.

While it is hoped that this law will reduce the number of texting while driving accidents and accidents caused by cellphone use, it likely won’t completely eradicate these accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that involved a driver distracted by cellphone usage, you maybe able to seek compensation for the costs associated with the accident. Getting help from an experienced Peoria personal injury attorney might help you to decide the types of compensation to which you are entitled. These professionals can also help you as you go through the negotiations and legal proceedings.

Source: WISC News Channel 20, “ISP Reminds Residents of Cell Phone Driving Ban” No author given, Dec. 17, 2013

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