Cell Phone Law New Challenge for Drivers in 2014

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Multitaskers who drive while chatting on the phone may face some bitter medicine in 2014.

Starting Jan. 1, Illinois motorists can talk and drive only if they use a hands-free device to conduct cellphone conversations.

The ban supplements the state's current ban on texting and replaces assorted local laws on cellphone use that vary from town to town. That includes Chicago, where a cellphone ban has been in place since 2006.

Violators face fines starting at $75, and the possibility of a suspended license for repeat offenses.

State Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago is a sponsor of the legislation. He says witnessing several near-accidents during trips to Springfield convinced him that keeping focused on driving with both hands on the wheel is the way to go.

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