Question of the Month: How many states have banned the use of handheld cellphones while driving?
Under the new law, violators are fined $75 for a first offense and must pay as much as $150 for repeat offenses as well as face a moving violation on their driving record. Three moving violations within a year can lead to the suspension of a driver’s license.
In addition, distracted drivers who harm others in Illinois face a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in fines of up to $2,500 and jail time of up to a year. Drivers involved in fatal accidents can be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries fines of up to $25,000 and up to three years of jail time.
Illinois’ law is similar to the cellphone bans in place in other U.S. states. Although fine amounts often vary from state to state, they always increase for multiple violations. Most of these 12 states have decided, too, that repeat cellphone-ban offenses should result in a moving violation that goes on the driver’s record.
Though most U.S. states still allow for cellphone use by drivers, nearly all of them (43) ban texting while driving. That includes all 11 states in the Midwest, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports. South Dakota legislators approved the texting-while-driving ban this year with passage of HB 1177; it takes effect July 1. This traffic violation will be a secondary offense in South Dakota, as it is in Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio (as of April).
Texting while driving is a primary offense in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
Question of the Month highlights an inquiry received by CSG Midwest through its Information Help Line, a research service for lawmakers, legislative staff and other state officials.
|Stateline Midwest ~ May 2014||2.03 MB|