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Police remind drivers of 2014 cell phone law

<p>Photo illustration &nbsp;| &nbsp;The Herald News</p>

Photo illustration  |  The Herald News

Naperville police are reminding motorists they are expected to use “hands-free technology” when driving and talking on a cell phone in Illinois as of New Year’s Day.

Legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn “bans the use of hand-held devices while driving,” Naperville police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso said in a release. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, he said.

“Drivers without hands-free technology will need to pull off the road to make a call or face fines starting at $75 for a first offense, and up to $150 for repeat offenses, as well as face (having) a moving violation on their driving record,” Cammiso said.

Three moving violations within a year can lead to suspension of driving privileges.

Drivers can still legally make hand-held cell phone calls in emergency situations, Cammiso said.

Illinois already has a law that bans texting while driving. Additionally, any driver under the age of 19 who holds an instructional permit or graduated license may not use a cell phone while driving.

Cammiso noted Quinn also signed into law a bill that increases penalties for drivers who injure or kill others in traffic crashes caused by the use of a cell phone or other electronic device.

Distracted motorists who injure other drivers “would face a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in fines up to $2,500 and less than a year of jail time,” Cammiso said. “Drivers involved in fatal accidents could be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries fines up to $25,000 and up to three years of jail time.”

Cammiso said Naperville police “will work to educate the public early in the year in their enforcement efforts (and) then transition into enforcement actions by issuing citations.”

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