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Using Hand-Held Cellphones While Driving Will be Illegal in Illinois Starting January 1

Using a hand-held cellphone while driving in Illinois will be illegal on Jan. 1.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday aimed at reducing distracted driving. It requires motorists to use speakerphones or headsets that allow for one-digit or audio dialing.

Illinois joins 11 other states and Washington, D.C. in banning hand-held phone use on the road.

Texting while driving is already illegal in Illinois.

Sen. John Mulroe (muhl-ROH’) — a Chicago Democrat and sponsor — says he wants motorists to “keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.”

The U.S. Transportation Department says drivers using hand-held devices are four times more likely to get in a crash causing injuries. Distracted driving caused 387,000 injuries and 3,000 deaths in 2011.

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