Two years after a ban on texting while driving was imposed on motorists in Illinois, lawmakers in the state are considering whether or not the time may have come to ban the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle altogether.
Legislation has been newly filed in Springfield to see Illinois join the nine other states in the US that have banned the use of the great majority of new and old cell phones while driving. The legislation, which was filed by state Representative Karen May, would still allow for the use of hands free devices while behind the wheel, although May says her legislation is just the first step to a complete cell phone ban while driving. “It’s not slam dunk legislation but I think it has a chance to pass,” May says. “I view this as just moving the ball down the court.”
The Illinois Department of Transportation claims that cell phone distractions were the primary cause of over 500 crashes in the state in the first half of 2010 alone. Illinois is just one of five states that have a partial ban on the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. State law also now prohibits drivers aged eighteen and under from using any form of cell phones while behind the wheel, including hands free devices. All drivers in Illinois are also banned from using cell phones while driving through either a highway construction or a school zone.