Cellphone ban enforcement, one month in

By Audrey Wise

January 31, 2014 Updated Feb 1, 2014 at 1:19 AM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill - As of January 1st, drivers can't talk on the phone while driving, unless it's completely hands-free. Friday morning, one month in, we went out with state police searching for law-breakers, quickly finding several.

"It's a new law, so it completely slipped my mind," said Michael Elliott of Toluca, after being pulled over and given a written warning.

"All the motorists we stopped today (Friday) knew the law, but they had ignored it," said Illinois State Trooper Dustin Pierce.

Steve Collier of Pekin has a bluetooth device, but it hasn't been working.

"I don't know why I dropped her in drive and took off, I guess force of habit," said Collier, after also getting a written warning by Trooper Pierce.

Rachel Washington, from Chicago was lost and getting directions from a friend when she was caught talking on speakerphone, but still holding it.

"That's not acceptable under the law," explained Trooper Pierce.

"Get a bluetooth," suggested Washington, "and like he said have the phone down, have it in something."

McLean County and Woodford County Sheriff's deputies have not issued any warnings or citations so far this month. Peoria County has issued two tickets, but Illinois State Police say they are cracking down.

"They have issued 65 written warnings for cell phones and three citations up until today (Friday)," said Trooper Pierce, of the officers in District 8.

But be warned, in the coming months troopers will likely issue less warnings and more citations.

It's all in an effort to keep you safe said Trooper Pierce, "There's many, many crashes that occur because of distractions and we're working to get those numbers back down."

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.