Cellphone ban to start in 2014

Cellphone ban to start in 2014

CHAMPAIGN -- Starting January 1, you can't have that phone up to your ear in the car.
CHAMPAIGN -- Starting January 1, you can't have that phone up to your ear in the car. Governor Quinn signed the cellphone ban Friday. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

The law is supposed to cut down on distracted driving crashes. You can talk, but it has to be hands free.

Starting in 2014, if you'd like to make a call while behind the wheel, you will either have to pull over or use Bluetooth. For some, it's a minor inconvenience. For others, it's their livelihood. Kevin Jones has been a delivery driver for Jet's Pizza for almost a year.

"I use mine mainly for GPS navigation to the route, cause I'm actually from Rantoul, and I don't know Champaign-Urbana. It helps you get there."

He never leaves the store without a pizza or his phone.

"I use a delivery driver program and usually enter all the information in beforehand, and I'll put the phone on my lap to where I can hear it better."

To move things along quicker, he likes to give customers a heads-up before he gets to their house.

"I usually wait about two blocks before I get there and say, 'I am about two blocks away, can you meet me downstairs?' That usually works out pretty well. The quicker you get back, the more money you can make."

That's why Jones is worried about the new cellphone ban.

"It's gonna hurt really bad, because it's going to take the extra time."

Time isn't what Governor Quinn was worried about when he signed the bill. It was lives.

He says distracted driving is not only dangerous; it's deadly. But will taking away cell phones really help? Fisher's Cohen Whitton says there are other distractions.

"People eat and drive, smoke and drive, they have other distractions than that. Like the music turned up."

But Champaign's Megan Murphy says safety comes first.

"I think it's pretty good, but it's going to be hard to tell who's gonna actually follow it."

Jones says even though it may slow him down, he will roll with the punches. And look into getting a GPS or Bluetooth.

"I think its gonna be a good thing and a bad thing, cause I've seen people still texting and driving on their phone and causing havoc."

If you are caught behind the wheel with one of these, you'll face fines starting at $75. A repeat offense could cost you as much as $150 and a moving violation.
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