Illinois state Governor Pat Quinn has passed House Bill 1247 to take effect January 1st 2014, which will prohibit use of talking and driving on a cell phone in the entire state. Illinois is not alone, there are a total of 12 states that completely ban the use of a cell phone while driving, and it is even stricter with novice drivers. Safety needs to be in the forefront of 2014 not just because of the cost savings, but also because it is the right thing to do. The National Safety Council reported that in 2011 at least 25% of all crashes involved the use of a cell phone (2012). It is obvious that many of these accidents can and should be avoided. This new law will come with some hefty fines if broken. First time offenders will start out at $75 and increase by $25 for each additional occurrence, all the way up to $150. These fines will also go onto your driving record as violations, which will impact insurance premiums even furthering the expense. It gets even more painful if those offenders cause harm to others, because they would be looking at up to $2500 in fines, less than a year in jail, and a Class A misdemeanor. The worst possible scenario would be when a fatality occurs, and there is a $25,000 fine, 3 years in jail, and a Class 4 felony.
There are some exclusions to this new law. The law prohibits an individual from using an electronic handheld device in any capacity while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway, whereas current law prohibits only composing or reading a text message. Exempts a driver from the provisions of the bill in the following circumstances, including but not limited to:
- The driver is using a headset, two-way radio, or citizens band radio;
- The driver presses a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication; or
- The driver is using an electronic communication device capable of performing multiple functions, other than a mobile phone or personal digital assistant. Establishes the following maximum fines for an individual who is found in violation of the provisions of the bill:
- $75 for the first offense;
- $100 for the second offense;
- $125 for the third offense; and
- $150 for the fourth and subsequent offense.
Exclusions to the Law:
- Law enforcement or emergency vehicles
- A driver reporting an emergency situation with emergency personnel
- A driver using hands free or voice operated mode
- Commercial vehicle with a permanently installed communication device
- A driver parked on the shoulder
- A driver stopped due to normal traffic obstructed and the vehicle is in park or neutral
- A driver using 2-way radio or transmitter for licensees of the FCC, this included Diga-Talk
- A driver using a single button to communicate or terminate a transmission
- A driver using a multi-functional device for example, fleet management, dispatching device
Diga-Talk is the clear choice for business and fleet communications! The Diga-Talk system provides automatic seamless roaming and secure communications. Diga-Talk gives business owners the tool they need to safely and reliably communicate with their staff at a reasonable price. Diga-Talk – The Way Push-to-Talk should be.