Senate Passes Cell Phone Ban Measure to the Governor

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STATELINE (WIFR) -- There's an even bigger push tonight to keep people safe on the roads. The Illinois legislature wants to ban cell phones from drivers statewide. It's already a law in some cities like Chicago.

It means Illinoisans will get a ticket if the police catch them holding their phones while they're behind the wheel. The measure passed through the Illinois House in March and today made its way through the State Senate.

Drivers would still be able to use their cellphones as long as they use hands free devices like blue tooth ear pieces or speaker phone functions. If drivers are caught by the police using their phones, there would be a $75 fine for first offenders. That’s if the House considers and amendment to the bill the Senate sent back the other way. The original proposal would have penalized drivers, no matter if it’s their first time or they've been cited multiple times, a much larger fine and the ticket would be considered a moving violation which could affect the driver’s insurance rates.

The bill wouldn't penalize Illinois motorists for using their phone's GPS function. Drivers would still be able to type in addresses and follow along on the phone as they drive to their destination.

After the House considers the ticketing amendment to the measure, it's off to Governor Pat Quinn’s desk. Some local representatives say they believe he will sign it into law.

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