CHICAGO - "Put your hands up!" may be what Illinois motorists hear when an officer is making a traffic stop next January, and the order won't be necessarily to see if a concealed weapon is in the car. What that traffic officer may be looking for could be an illegally-used handheld phone - another protective measure the Illinois legislature passed this spring that Governor Quinn signed into law Friday.
The only legal phones Illinois will be able use while driving in Illinois after January 1st will be speakerphones or headsets that allow for one-digit or audio dialing. The bill number HB 1247 passed both the Senate and House with bi-partisan support.
No word yet on possible legislation banning other driving distractions such as crying babies, tussling preschoolers, backseat drivers, loud audio systems, food from drive-thrus or highway bill boards.
HB 1247 roll call votes are below the fold -