Confused about what the texting while driving laws really are in Illinois? This guide explains it!
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IN ILLINOIS?
In 2014, the Illinois legislature passed a new law that prohibits drivers in Illinois from texting while driving a car. However, the definition of "texting" is a bit broader than one may think.
SO WHAT CAN'T I DO?
Drivers in Illinois may not send "electronic communication" while driving a car. Electronic communication includes, but is not limited to, texting, e-mails, and instant messaging (such as Facebook Messenger and GroupMe).
IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?
Sure! The law really only prohibits the types of things that would distract drivers and potentially harm people who are on the road.
Drivers in Illinois may still use their GPS to navigate, so you can still use your cellphone to avoid getting lost on the streets of Illinois. You should, however, use a device to mount your cellphone, so that you aren't picking it up to look at your GPS while you are driving. The GPS should be hands free!
Drivers may also still talk on the phone, so long as they are talking via a hands-free method. These include using Bluetooth or a phones speaker function. However, you are only allowed one touch on the electronic device to start/stop the communication.
GOT IT, SO ABSOLUTELY NO TEXTING, RIGHT?
Well... not so fast. Like many laws in Illinois, there are a few exceptions to the texting prohibition.
Drivers may use electronic communication if: they are reporting an emergency situation; they are parked on the shoulder of a roadway; or they are stopped due to normal traffic and the car is in neutral or park.
WHAT AM I LOOKING AT IF I VIOLATE THIS LAW?
A first offense under this law is generally a $75 fine. The fine or charge can go up depending on the circumstances of the case and if this is a subsequent offense.
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