Recent surveys conducted on how Americans feel about restrictions on cellphone use while driving revealed that the consensus isn’t as universal as most people think it is. Just over 50% of respondents supported the current measures of allowing drivers to use wireless headsets while driving, 42% thought there should be a complete ban on all telecommunication activity on the road. The remaining 8% thought there shouldn’t be any restrictions at all.
A Road Divided
These results are surprising to many people who consider their side of the survey as the uniform attitude across the country before being made aware of another side. The state of Illinois puts itself squarely in the camp of the 50% that support limited restrictions on phone use while driving.
The fact of the matter is, the US is such a big place that it encompasses different climates and cultures, and the law has to accommodate for both when considering new legislation such as cell phone use while driving.
Traffic attorneys from noll-law.com recommend their clients consult Section 12-610.2 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes for the definitive provisions regarding the use of electronic devices while driving. Subsections a and b define and outline what drivers can’t do on the road, which is to drive while using an electronic device. The definition of electronic device includes wireless telephones, digital assistants, and portable computers.
These restrictions don’t apply to everyone, however, as there are several exceptions as to who can be considered violating the law. These people include law enforcement, people reporting emergencies, and drivers using headsets to name a few. The reason for these exceptions lies in the spirit of the law, which is supposed to protect motorists from possible damage irresponsible phone users might cause while driving.
The exceptions in the law don’t present any danger to the driving public, and some of them even work for the safety of other motorists. Including them in the scope of violators would be a betrayal of the spirit of the law, as well as an effective erosion of the authority of the ones enforcing its edicts.
Different states need to contend with attitudes and environmental conditions when creating their laws, causing some confusion for people travelling the country. It’s important for people to know the rules whenever they enter a new territory, especially if they’re traveling by land.