Evanston Drivers: Put Down That Phone!

March 15, 2010

Dialing and driving in Evanston is no longer legal.

A new ordinance takes effect today in the northern suburb that prohibits the use of cell phones while driving. That includes talking, texting, listening to voice mail and browsing the Internet.

Get caught and you can receive a $50 fine. Have an accident while you’re on the phone, and your fine could be $200.

You can’t claim ignorance: There are signs posted throughout Evanston informing drivers of the new law. According to Police Commander Tom Guenther, Evanston police will give out warnings to offenders during this first week; real tickets will be issued starting March 22.

Hands-free cell phone use through an earpiece or Bluetooth is still legal. Also exempt from the new rules are 911 calls.

This has been a law in the city of Chicago for five years. An Illinois law that took effect at the beginning of the year bans motorists from texting or surfing the Internet while driving. The statewide law also prohibits anyone under the age of 19 from using a cell phone while driving and any motorist from using a hand-held phone in school and construction zones.

According to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, bans on hand-held cell phones in other states, including New York and California, had no impact on accident rates.

But you know the saying: Better safe than sorry.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Tracey

Leave a Comment