PEORIA, Ill. -- Beginning January 1, 2014 Illinois drivers will only be able to use hand free cell phone devices while on the road.
That is one of several new state laws state troopers will enforce on the roadways.
State Police Trooper Dustin Pierce said fatalities in this area are climbing. He said statewide this year there have been 861 vehicular related deaths compared to 841 in 2012.
In District 8, which includes Marshall, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties, there have been 33 people killed compared to 24 last year.
"We know that some have been distracted driving, some have been impaired driving, some have been driver error," Pierce said. "Where we've seen a huge increase has been on city streets."
Trooper Pierce said it is estimated that many people do drive while talking on cellphone but he said police have not been able to catch them.