Illinois' Distracted Driving Law Draws Mixed Reviews

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By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Illinois is officially a "hands free" state where law enforcement can crack down on anyone using their phone while behind the wheel.

The law is clear: no cell phone use while driving. That includes texting, talking, or even using GPS.

"I didn't know that," Tanner said Monday afternoon while filling up at a River North gas station. "I've been on my Maps throughout this weekend. I've been trying to watch out for cops."

He's visiting from Grand Rapids, and under the new law, could be hit with a moving violation and $75 fine.

"I would be pretty mad, because I kind of need my phone for directions if I'm not from here," Tanner said.

The law gets mixed reviews from Dennis, who drives a cab for a living.

"Text messaging is more dangerous," he said. "That's supposed to be a no-no. But talking? Especially when you do driving work, you drive more hours. Sometimes you're tired and you be falling asleep behind the wheel. If you talk to somebody, it can keep you awake."

There are a few exceptions to the rule, such as reporting an emergency and using Bluetooth or hands-free mode.