New year brings new Illinois cell phone law - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

New year brings new Illinois cell phone law

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ILLINOIS (WFIE) -

With the new year comes new laws. One in Illinois involves using your cell phone while behind the wheel. 

Starting January 1, it will be illegal in Illinois to talk on your hand-held cell phone while driving. It will only allow drivers to use hands-free technology when talking on the phone. 

However, the law says a driver is allowed to press a single button to begin and end a conversation. 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drivers are four times more likely to be injured in an accident if on the phone. 

White County Sheriff Doug Maier says his deputies won't be actively enforcing the law, but it allows them to be more strict if they do catch someone.

"People need to understand if you are in an accident, we do have that capability now to subpoena those records and determine if they were talking on the phone. Then they have a criminal aspect and civil liability at that point," Maier said.

Violators will be fined $75 for a first offense and as much $150 for repeat offenses. 

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