The New Year rings in a new law for Illinois' drivers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

The New Year rings in a new law for Illinois' drivers

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There are a number of new laws set to take effect on January 1, 2014. There are a number of new laws set to take effect on January 1, 2014.
Drivers will no longer be allowed to talk or text on cell phones, use their tablets or laptops while behind the wheel. Drivers will no longer be allowed to talk or text on cell phones, use their tablets or laptops while behind the wheel.
The first offense can cost you $75, and subsequent offenses rise by $25 up to the fourth one, which will cost you $150. The first offense can cost you $75, and subsequent offenses rise by $25 up to the fourth one, which will cost you $150.
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MARION, IL (KFVS) -

There are a number of new laws set to take effect on January 1, 2014.

But, one that is going to affect millions of people in Illinois, and anyone else driving in the state, is the new hands free law.

Drivers will no longer be allowed to talk or text on cell phones, use their tablets or laptops while behind the wheel.

"We want people to make sure they understand it's not going to be tolerated," said Marion's Chief of Police John Eibeck. "Especially don't flaunt it in front of us. If you do expect to be pulled over, maybe warned the first time or early one. But after that expect to get a ticket."

The first offense can cost you $75, and subsequent offenses rise by $25 up to the fourth one, which will cost you $150.

The offense is also a moving violation on your license. After three of them your license can be suspended.

"With texting previously you couldn't tell if they were texting or dialing a phone number. So it was a "50-50" gamble how you were going to come out in the end," Chief Eibeck said. "Where now even if they're dialing they're going to be in violation."

For those drivers who don't have one of the smart phones with audible dialing capabilities, Chief Eibeck has a few words of advice for you.

"They might want to consider upgrading their telephone," he said. "Or they're going to have to simply pull off the side of the road. And stop to be able to legally make a call from their cell phones."

There is one exception to the electronic devices that you can still use while behind the wheel. Those are your car's navigation system, or a global positioning system.

"My son and his father-in-law were in an accident just a couple of weeks ago by a girl who was on her cell phone," Starr Quinn said. "And it totaled out their car. So yeah I'm definitely in favor of hands free driving."

There are 14 states in the nation with laws forbidding everyone from using electronic devices while driving. Some other states make it illegal after the second offense. A handful limit the violations to young drivers under a certain age.

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