Illinois is cracking down on mobile device usage while driving. Starting Monday all mobile device usage while driving will result in a moving violation citation.
Drivers were previously issued a warning on their first offense and a non-moving violation ticket on all future offenses. Under the new law, three violations results in automatic license suspension.
Bloomington Police spokesperson John Fermon said that includes any use of an electronic device—even picking up your phone to change the song.
“If you start the navigation system, you can’t touch it while you’re driving,” Fermon said. “So basically if you’ve got your cell phone mounted how most people do in their air vents, that’s fine, that’s acceptable. You just can’t touch it or be using it while you’re driving.”
Fermon said any Bluetooth or hands-free GPS and calling uses are still fair game, but drivers under the age of 19 cannot use cellphones while driving at all.
Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner said his department gives out on average 100 citations for unlawful use of a cell phone every month. He calls it one of the leading causes of crashes.
“It could be a cellphone, it could be a tablet,” he clarified. “It’s any handheld wireless device barring something that would be specifically for GPS.”
Bleichner said if drivers need to use a device while driving, they should pull over and put the car in neutral or park to avoid a citation.
The first offense carries with it a fine of up to $75, $100 for the second, $125 for the third, and $150 for all future offenses.
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