New Illinois law bans hand-held cell phone use while driving

Driving while using your cell phone on Fermilab grounds is a traffic violation. Be safe: Don’t let yourself be distracted while driving.

A new Illinois state law permits the use of some electronic devices while driving, but here at Fermilab the rules are stricter.

While texting and driving is illegal, as of Jan. 1, 2014, House Bill 1247, PA 98-0506 states that chatting on a hand-held cell phone while driving is now also a traffic violation in the state of Illinois. A person caught violating this law will be fined a maximum of $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense. Offenders could also face having a moving violation on their driving records.

What is allowed in Illinois.
Devices that are still allowed while driving in the state include:

  1. hands-free headsets.
  2. speaker phone systems built into car stereos.
  3. mounted cell phone that allows a driver to use the speaker function without holding it.
  4. calls on hand-held phones in emergency situations.

What is not allowed in Illinois:
Drivers under the age of 19 are prohibited from any cell phone usage while driving except in emergency situations.

What is not allowed at Fermilab:
It is a violation of FESHM Chapter 9010, section 5.2 to use any type of electrical device while driving at Fermilab. Exceptions include:

  1. use of electronic communication devices while performing official duties in an emergency vehicle.
  2. two-way radios provided by the laboratory for official business.
  3. two-way mobile radio transmitters or receivers used by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the amateur radio service.

Don’t wait to be pulled over by law enforcement or for a crash. Let’s all take the pledge to drive cell-free and encourage others to do the same.

For more information on the state ban on cell phones usage while operating a motor vehicle, visit the Illinois Rules of the Road.

J.B. Dawson