Hands-free law has trouble gaining traction

Six months ago, Illinois made it illegal to talk or text on cell phones while driving. Tickets for violators start at $75.

Authorities say some drivers aren't getting the message.

"I see people all the time texting, calling on the phone, all sorts of things. And does that make you nervous? Absolutely," said Nancy Artime.

Despite the threat of death, injury, and fines…some drivers cannot put down their cell phones

"I was actually in a car wreck once because a 16-year-old kid was driving and he was texting on his phone and he hit the car in front of me which hit my car," said Beth Ann Schwartz.

Six months after Illinois' hands free cell phone law went into effect, it remains a challenge for law enforcement.

"You have to be completely hands free, so it's a big misconception. A lot of the motorists think that if they have it on speaker and in their hand, that they're within the law," said Trooper Calvin Dye Jr.

Dye estimates the Illinois State Police have issued as many as 130 cell phone citations in five Metro East counties, and as many as 280 warnings.

"We want your mind to be focused on the roadway," said Dye.

Illinois State Rep. Jerry Costello II, voted against the cell phone law, because he represents a number of rural drivers.

"I understand it for urban areas, but I didn't think it was necessary for a lot of our rural areas," said Costello.

Even with a hands free cell phone law, other distractions remain: like pets in the front seat and drivers eating food. Brad Grover wishes more drivers would concentrate on the road.

"I don't text and drive. I don't do any of it. I've got her so I can't really afford to do anything like that," said Grover.

Dye says a cell phone ticket is a moving violation that's reported to your insurance company.

So it could cause your premium to increase.


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