The Illinois House voted Thursday to ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, and IAR wants to hear from its members what you think about this potential rule change.

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HB3972 provides that a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device (rather than only prohibiting the composing, sending, or reading of electronic messages while operating a vehicle) unless the electronic communication device is used in hands-free or voice-activated mode.

Exceptions would apply to a driver using a cell phone in hands-free or voice-operated (instead of voice-activated) mode and that voice-operated mode may include the use of a headset. Drivers could still use their hand-held phones if they are parked on the shoulder of a roadway or when the vehicle is stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park.

The legislation passed 62-53 in the House and now moves to the Senate. Several Illinois cities already have some sort of ban on cell phones for motorists. If signed into law, Illinois would become the 10th state to ban use of cell phones while driving. Violators would be fined a maximum of $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense.

Is this a good idea? Please leave a comment.