Misinformation about texting while driving abounds, Not everyone really understands the laws around the use of mobile technology in a vehicle in Illinois. That can lead people to unintentionally break the law and increase the risk of a distracted driving crash.
There are currently no federal laws that specifically address mobile phone use in personal passenger vehicles while driving, but the state of Illinois does have its own laws on this pressing safety issue.
No one can manually text while driving in Illinois
Regardless of the age of the driver, it is illegal for someone in control of a motor vehicle to manually enter data into a mobile phone, navigate a website or otherwise operate a mobile device while driving.
Adult drivers who are age 19 or older are permitted to use hands-free text software or accessibility devices like Bluetooth headsets. Teenage drivers are prohibited from using any mobile devices, even hands-free, while driving.
Distraction is a primary offense
When it comes to traffic law enforcement, there are primary offenses for which an officer can conduct a traffic stop and secondary offenses that they can only cite someone for if they notice them during a traffic stop for a more pressing issue. Mobile phone use and distraction are primary offenses that can allow an officer to pull someone over.
Additionally, if a distracted driver causes a crash that hurts other people or causes property damage, they may face a citation or even arrest. That person may also have financial liability for the injuries and property damage they caused others. Victims or surviving loved ones can take legal action to seek compensation.