Drop It and Drive


New law prohibits use of hand-held devices while driving.

It’s considered a moving violation even if the vehicle is stopped at a traffic signal. A phone in one hand means a ticket in the other.

The fine for a first offense is a maximum of $75, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense. Drivers with three or more moving violations within a 12-month period risk suspension of their driver’s license.

Ban on Use of Electronic Communication Devices in Illinois

  • The law applies to electronic communication devices including cellphones, tablets and laptops.
  • The law allows only the use of hands-free devices with speakerphones or headsets and devices that feature voice-activated or one-digit dialing.
  • The law imposes stricter penalties following crashes in which electronic devices were being used at the time of collision. A crash causing great bodily harm can earn a driver up to one year in prison and a fatal crash can result in a prison sentence of up to three years.

Read the law

Join Our Campaign

There are many ways you can help spread the word about the hand-held cellphone ban in Illinois.

  • Post a poster or flier in your office, community center or place of worship.
  • Post the logo on your Facebook page or Twitter account.
  • Place an article in your newsletter.
  • Sound Off! Tell Us Your Story about the dangers of using a hand-held cellphone while driving.

Get the Facts

  • In Illinois, from 2013 through 2017, nearly 11,800 crashes occurred in which some form of driver distraction involving a cellphone was cited by police. These crashes resulted in 79 fatalities. (Illinois Department of Transportation)
  • In 2017 alone, cellphone distractions resulted in nearly 2,800 crashes in Illinois, up nearly 4 percent from about 2,700 crashes in 2016. (Illinois Department of Transportation)
  • Nationally, a total of 434 people died in fatal crashes that involved cellphone-related activities as a distraction. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • About 1.3 million crashes nationwide – or 23 percent of the annual total – involve drivers using cellphones. (National Safety Council)
  • Distracted driving plays a role in 58 percent of crashes involving teenagers. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)
  • Although nearly 97 percent of people know that texting or emailing while driving is extremely dangerous, 35 percent admitted to doing it in 2018. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)
  • Drivers using hand-held cell phones are four times more likely to get into an accident causing injuries. (U.S. Department of Transportation)
  • The National Safety Council is recommending companies ban the use of cellphones for employees driving during work hours, and as of 2019, more than 469 employers nationwide have adopted the embargo.



How to Avoid Distracted Driving

Here are some other tips to avoid distracted driving:

  • Turn it off. Shut off your cellphone before you get in your car, then stow it out of sight and out of reach.
  • Stop first. If you have to make a call, pull over to a safe area, such as a rest stop or oasis, to make your call.
  • Ask a passenger. Have a passenger make a call or respond to a text for you.
  • Spread the word. Record a message on your phone that warns callers you're driving and will get back to them later – or sign up for a service that offers this feature.
  • Be prepared. Program navigational devices or review written directions before you start to drive.
  • Finish first. Complete your personal grooming, dressing and eating before hitting the road.
  • Buckle up. Secure children and pets before beginning to drive. If they need attention, pull over before tending to them.


  • 2007: Distracted Drivers Task Force formed to study distracted driving in Illinois, with Secretary of State Jesse White as chairman.
  • August 2009: The bill is signed banning the use of an electronic device to write, send or read an electronic communication of any kind, such as texting and emailing, while driving. Bill also prohibits using a wireless phone while driving in a school speed zone or construction work zone. Law goes into effect on January 1, 2010.
  • July 2012: Law signed banning commercial truck drivers from using hand-held cellphones while behind the wheel. Law takes effect January 1, 2013.
  • May 2013: Illinois House and Senate approve law barring all hand-held cellphone use by all drivers. The law is signed on August 16.
  • January 2014: New law banning hand-held cellphone use takes effect in Illinois.
  • July 2019: New law takes effect making the use of a hand-held electronic device while driving a moving violation.