The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Drivers prohibited from using cell phones

Unless you are using a hands-free device, talking on a cell phone while driving now is illegal in Illinois.

Effective Jan. 1, police can stop and ticket drivers using a hand-held cell phone anywhere in the state. Illinois was the 12th state in the country and first in the Midwest to adopt a ban on using a hand-held cell phone while driving. Fines start at $75.

Illinois already prohibits texting while driving and Chicago has had a ban similar to the new state law on the books for some time. A companion law also increased penalties for drivers who use a cell phone or other electronic device and injure or kill others in crashes. Distracted motorists who harm other drivers now face fines up to $2,500 and a year of jail time. Drivers involved in fatal accidents could be fined $25,000 and face up to three years in jail.

With research contending that all cell phone use is equally distracting once a conversation begins, Oak Park Police are urging motorists to put their devices aside while driving.

For more information on the dangers of distracted driving, call 708.386.3800 or email