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Driving while phoning ban starts next month

In case you missed the news about passage of the ordinance itself, the City of Evanston wants you to know that the new ban on driving while using a hand-held cell phone goes into effect March 15.

The ordinance, introduced by Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, requires drivers to use hands-free devices or pull over to make a call.

In case you missed the news about passage of the ordinance itself, the City of Evanston wants you to know that the new ban on driving while using a hand-held cell phone goes into effect March 15.

The ordinance, introduced by Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, requires drivers to use hands-free devices or pull over to make a call.

“The data shows that distracted driving, using a cell phone while driving, quadruples the risk of an accident,” Grover said. “The ordinance will help reduce that risk in Evanston. When drivers try to manage their phone and their car at the same time, safety always looses out.”

As of the first of the year, state law bans texting while driving. The City’s new ordinance also bans texting while driving but additionally prohibits web browsing or listening to voice mail while driving. 

The City ordinance calls for a $50 fine, with an added $200 penalty if the violation occurs at the time of a traffic accident.

The City ordinance exempts work-related calls by government officials from the ban and permits anyone to make a 9-1-1 call while driving. Also, using a cell phone in a parked car is not banned.

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