SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) — Illinois drivers could be required to put their phones down for good. A bill under consideration in Springfield would ban cell phone use while driving in Illinois. However, hands-free cell phone devices could still be used.

Illinois already has a texting-while-driving ban and a total ban on phone use for drivers under age 19.

Verizon Wireless lobbyist Jay Keller says he supports the bill, though the phone is far from the only distraction in the car. “Distracted driving goes to the extent of the individual reading the newspaper, eating a hot dog, yelling and screaming at the kids in the back seat,” he said. “When I was rear-ended, it was the lady turning around yelling and screaming at her kids.”

State Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago) says Illinoisans may warm up to the idea. “It’s one of those things that’s a work in progress,” he said. “When we did the texting ban there was opposition to that too. I think nowadays you would have a hard time finding people opposed to [prohibiting] texting and driving. I think that’s what’s going to happen here.”

The bill has passed out of an Illinois House committee and will be considered on the House floor.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network


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