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KSDK – Six months ago, Illinois made it illegal to talk or text on your cell phone while driving. Authorities say drivers, however, aren't getting the message.

Tickets for violators start at $75. And despite the threat of death, injury or that very fine, some drivers say they just can't put down their phone.

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

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

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 don't think it's necessary for a lot of rural areas," he said.

Even with a hands-free law, other distractions remain, from pets in the front seats and drivers eating food.

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