'Texting While Driving' Law Goes into Effect on July 1

On July 1, stiffer penalties will be implemented as Illinois’ law regarding the use of hand-held devices behind the wheel takes effect. Passed by the General Assembly last year, House Bill 4846 will count first-time incidences of driving while operating a handheld mobile device as a “moving violation.” Prior to HB 4846, first offenses of distracted driving would be considered a “non-moving violation.”

An operator using a hand-held device while the car is in drive could face a $75 fine. Exceptions to the rule are made for situations such as a driver using an cell phone to report an emergency, using a device in hands-free or voice-operated modes, or a driver using a communication device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway.

Three moving violations in a year can result in a suspended license in Illinois.