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No More Cell Phone Use in Illinois After Jan. 1 Unless Hands-Free

Question:  Can I be fined for talking on my cell phone while driving? Answer:  A new state law goes into effect January 1, 2014 that makes use of hands-free technology mandatory while driving. Currently, numerous municipalities prohibit the use of cell phones unless drivers use a hands-free device, headset or speaker-phone. With the new law, violators will be fined $75 for the first offense and as much as $150 for a fourth offense. Second and subsequent convictions are considered moving violations for their driving record. Three of those violations within a year could mean the loss of a driver’s license. Drivers will still be able to make calls without hands-free devices in case of an emergency or when stopped in traffic jams, if the car is in park or neutral.     For more information about Illinois law, visit  If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit