Theoretically, drivers can use the speaker option on their cell phones, but even dialing a number can fall into the new category of distracted driving offenses, which carry fines that start at $75. The penalties increase dramatically if another motorist is hurt or killed by a distracted driver.
Also, don't expect a mad rush of citations when Jan. 1 arrives. Local police officers hope to educate the driving public about the new law, rather than write tickets. "We're not going to be out hammering people Jan. 1 with tickets. We know we have that as an enforcement tool, but we're going to look to educate drivers on the law as often as we can," said Bill Holmer, Glen Ellyn deputy police chief.