Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bloomington Legal Newsletter -- New Cell Phone Laws!!

While I concentrate my practice in Family Law, I try to keep a pulse
on other areas of the law that might help me in my Family Law
practice. Recently, I found a new law (effective January 1, 2010) that
would have caught many of us by surprise, and I thought I would pass
it along in this quick email.

Motorists across the state soon must obey new laws banning text
messaging while driving and prohibiting the use of cell phones in
school zones and construction areas. Illinois lawmakers recently added
a new section to the Illinois Vehicle Code to ban text messaging while
driving. 625 ILCS 5/12-601.2. Under the new law, "a person may not
operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic
communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message."

The act targets the use of cellular phones, personal digital
assistants, and portable computers. However, the act does not affect
the use of global positioning systems that are integrated into the
vehicle. The law prohibits several forms of electronic communication,
including text messages, e-mail and instant messages. However, the new
law does not apply to law enforcement officers performing official
duties or to motorists who are reporting an emergency. Drivers may
send an electronic message if they are parked on the shoulder of the

State lawmakers also amended the Illinois Vehicle Code to prohibit the
use of cellular phones in school speed zones and construction speed
zones. 625 ILCS 5-12-610.1(e). The new language forbids the use of
cell phones by all motorists, regardless of age, while driving in
school speed zones or construction and maintenance speed zones. The
new law does not apply to construction or maintenance workers engaged
in a project. Emergency responders, including police, firefighters and
health care providers, also may use a cell phone for emergency
purposes in a school or construction zone.

I hope I just saved a few of you from a ticket or two (or three if you
have teenagers).

This communication is not legal advice.

This material is produced by Jon McLaughlin. It is intended to provide
general information in summary form on legal topics, current at the
time of first publication. The contents do not constitute legal advice
and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be
sought in particular matters.

Jon D. McLaughlin, Esq.
Allison & Mosby-Scott
210 1/2 North Williamsburg Drive
Bloomington, Illinois 61704
Phone: (309) 662-5084
Cell: (309) 319-6206


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