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Cell Phone Use While Driving Can Cost You

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cell phone use, distracted driving, Illinois Traffic Violations AttorneysThe next time you stop at a red light, look at the drivers on either side of you. Despite laws against it, there is a good chance that at least one of them will be using a cell phone or mobile device. While most people understand that texting while driving can be particularly dangerous, due to the inherent distraction of reading and sending message, simply talking on cell phone can be equally, if not more, hazardous. In fact, according to some estimates, cell phone use contributes to more than a quarter of all auto accidents, while texting plays a role in about five percent.

Know the Law

It is important for Illinois drivers to fully understand what is legal regarding the use of cell phones and mobile devices behind the wheel. First and foremost, text messaging and emailing from a phone or mobile device while driving is against the law for all drivers. Texting is only permitted if the vehicle is pulled off of the road and onto the shoulder, or is stopped in normal traffic patterns and is in neutral or park.

All cell phone use, except for legitimate emergencies, is prohibited for drivers who are 18 and under. Drivers over the age of 18 are permitted to conduct cell phone conversations, but only with the use of a hands-free device. Hand-held cell phone is illegal for all drivers in the state.

Potential Penalties

While an electronic device violation may not seem to be a big deal, the consequences can add up quickly. If cell phone use is found to have contributed to an accident causing severe injury or death, the violation can be criminally prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony respectively. A simple violation of the law regarding cell phones and mobile devices will result in a first-offense fine of up to $75. Subsequent offenses result in higher fines: $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and up to $150 for every offense thereafter. Furthermore, beginning with a fourth offense, a driver is in danger of having his or her driver's license suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State.

If you have received a citation for illegal cell phone use or texting while driving, contact an experienced Joliet traffic violations defense attorney today. We can help you review the circumstances of your case, ensure the ticket was issued correctly, and work toward reducing its impact on your record. Call the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. to schedule your free, confidential consultation with one of our skilled legal professionals.

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