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Statewide ban on hand-held cell phone?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Statewide ban on hand-held cell phone?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 29, 2013


Get ready to use those Bluetooth devices, folks. Every day! In your car...

Yesterday the Illinois passed HB1247, with Senate Amendment 1, by a vote of 69-48. (I wonder how many of those 69 really were not in the House.)

This bill, when signed by Gov. Quinn, will make a $75 criminal out of you, if you make a handheld cell phone call in your moving vehicle. It will be a violation, if you are stopped at a red light or stopped at the curb with the engine running and your car in gear. Or stopped for 15 minutes on U.S. 30 at a railroad crossing.

What you will need to do, if you are stopped in normal traffic, is put your car in Park or Neutral.

The bill is only three pages long, so it may be pretty easy to read. Digesting it may be another topic.

Careless drafting of the bill, and not caught in either the House or the Senate, resulted in no language regarding an effective date. So, if you get a ticket for holding your phone, could you try the defense of "The bill is not effective, Your Honor"? Who knows? It could work...

Don't do what a friend did in Chicago. When her phone rang, she answered it and immediately put it on speakerphone. A Chicago cop was stopped next to her and watching her, and he wrote her $100 ticket! Figure out how to answer it on the speakerphone.

All the McHenry County State Representatives and Sen. Althoff voted NO on HB 1247. Thanks, y'all.

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