New Limits On Cellphone Use For Illinois Drivers

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FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) – Illinois drivers are coming under more  pressure to stay off their cellphones.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed four laws Friday aimed at making roadways safer.

Three of them confront the problem of drivers becoming distracted by talking and texting on their cellphones, something that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has called a “national epidemic.”

One of the measures prohibits the use of cellphones by drivers in all roadwork zones. Previously, the restriction only applied to work zones with speed limit reductions.

It is also now illegal to use a mobile phone while driving within 500 feet of an emergency scene.

Another measure bars commercial drivers from any hand-held cellphone use. The governor also signed a bill known as Julie’s Law, which increases penalties for serious speed-limit violations.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)