Cell Phone Violations

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Cell Phone Violations in Illinois

Driving while using a phone is prohibited in the state of Illinois. Texting, emailing, and making phone calls all fall within this category. First-time electronic device traffic violators may face fines from law enforcement. Understanding the cell phone regulations will help you avoid breaking the law and lessen the possibility of accidents and other situations that harm you or others.

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Understanding Cell Phone Violations

Illinois law prohibits the use of any handheld device, including a cell phone, computer, or other gadget, while driving. According to Illinois legislation 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2, drivers are prohibited from using any "electronic communication device" while operating a motor vehicle, including wireless telephones. Wireless or cellular devices cannot be used while driving by anybody under 19 except for emergency services, law enforcement, or medical professionals. Deterring reckless driving and promoting road safety are the goals of the law. Even if you are using hands-free technology, it is advised that you pull over to the side of the road before making any phone calls. 

Texting and Driving: A Dangerous Distraction

All three primary forms of driver distraction—visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), and cognitive (taking the driver's thoughts off the task) are involved in texting and driving. Compared to non-distracted driving, texting while driving increases a driver's risk of collision by 23 times. A driver's eyes are diverted from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds when sending or texting in car; that's like driving a football field's worth of distance while wearing a blindfold at 55 mph. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 3,000 persons lost their lives in American car accidents involving distracted drivers in 2020. The distraction rate rises when other activities like talking, eating, drinking, and adjusting the radio are considered. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) released Fatal Crash Historic Data, which shows that the number of fatal crashes in Illinois has increased throughout a 5-year review. Still, there has been a slight decline in deaths from 2021. The 2023 Illinois crash statistics show:

  • 1169 resulted in fatal crashes.
  • A total of 1269 deaths

Based on a three-year average, Illinois has approximately 285,000 collisions per year, 5.2% include collisions. These collisions can frequently be avoided by slowing down and avoiding distractions of using mobile phone while driving. 

Laws Regulating Cell Phone Use While Driving in Illinois

Illinois General Assembly laws (625 ILCS 5/12-610.2) state that it is illegal for someone to operate a motor vehicle on a public road while using an electronic communication device. This includes watching or streaming video, using a device to engage in video conferences like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or WebEx, or accessing social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. 

When someone is involved in a car accident that causes significant bodily harm, permanent impairment, disfigurement, or death to another person, and the violation is a direct cause of the injury or death, that person has engaged in aggravated use of an electronic communication device. Using mobile phone while driving is illegal throughout the state of Illinois

Regardless of age, the cell phone law applies to all drivers. A person is not allowed to use a wireless phone at any time while operating a motor vehicle in a school speed zone, a highway in a construction or maintenance speed, 500 feet from an emergency scene, or if the violation was directly linked to the injury or death of another person.

Penalties for cell phone violation laws in Illinois

The penalty for using phone while driving includes the following: 

For ordinary cell phone tickets, the fine for first-time offenders ranges from $75 to $1,000. However, drivers who pay their tickets online and avoid appearing in court typically have to pay $164 in fines.  The fee is $164 for drivers who pay their tickets without showing up in person. The penalty is classified as a class C misdemeanor for a third or subsequent offense, with a maximum fine of $1,500. 

Aggravated texting and driving offenses that cause severe bodily harm, permanent impairment, deformity, or the death of another individual are classified as a Class 4 felony. Drivers found guilty might spend up to $25,000 fine for using phone while driving and 1 to 3 years jail time.

Severe offenses without a death are Class A misdemeanors and are punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. 

How to fight a cellphone Ticket

If you receive a ticket for using a cell phone while driving, hiring an expert traffic violation lawyer can influence your chances of having the charge dismissed or reduced. Sergei Kuchinski is an experienced lawyer for cell phone tickets in Illinois, providing any possible defenses or mitigating circumstances relevant to your situation. If there are any discrepancies in the police report, our lawyer will review it to determine whether the officer initially had a valid reason to pull you over. 

Many laws regarding electronic communication devices include interesting exceptions that can be useful in a successful defensive plan. The number of these exceptions is astonishing. If a driver uses only one single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication, for instance, then using an electronic gadget is allowed. 

An expert criminal defense lawyer will have the chance to point out inconsistencies in the prosecution's version of events. It is important to investigate all available defenses to reduce or eliminate the consequences of cell phone use while driving, as these seemingly insignificant differences can make or break a case involving these violations. 

Contact Us for a Consultation

Contact our lawyer at The Kuchinski Law Group to discuss your case if you have received a ticket for using a cell phone. We can assist you in understanding your legal rights and pursuing a successful resolution. Call us at (312) 765-7365 to schedule a consultation or for more information.


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