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Wheaton, IL traffic violation attorney gps cell phoneDistracted driving involves any activity that takes a motorist’s attention away from safely operating a vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers every day in the United States. However, many of today’s drivers rely on their smartphones as a navigation tool while traveling. Even if it is a place to which they go often, global positioning system (GPS) apps may be used by drivers to find the fastest route to their destination. Under a new Illinois law that went into effect on July 1, 2019, using an electronic device while driving can result in a traffic violation for the driver. Even if a motorist is simply holding a cell phone when behind the wheel, he or she can be stopped and issued a traffic ticket. 

New Illinois Moving Violation Law

Prior to the new law, if a driver was stopped for using a cellular phone or electronic device while driving, that was considered an “equipment violation.” This meant offenders did not risk suspension or revocation of their driver’s license by the Illinois Secretary of State. Under the old law, a warning was issued for a first offense, and subsequent tickets issued were non-moving violations.

Under the new law, all offenses involving driving while using an electronic device are considered moving violations. Three moving violations within a one-year period will result in driver’s license suspension for drivers 21 years and older. Drivers under 21 who receive two moving violations within a year will lose their license. The most common device is a cell phone, but the law also includes tablet computers and almost any mobile device with a screen. 

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