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New Cell Phone Laws Carry Stiffer Penalty

Question: What penalties do motorists face if they violate the new state law that bans the use of cellphones while driving? Answer: Beginning on January 1, 2014, Illinois motorists may not use handheld cellphones for any purpose, including making or receiving phone calls or texting. If police see a driver pressing a phone to his or her ear, they can issue a ticket. Fines range from $75 for a first-time offense to $150 for each offense after the third violation. Drivers can make calls in case of emergency or if they are stopped in traffic and the vehicle 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