EFFINGHAM — With the new year comes new laws and several statutes affect time spent in the car, namely where and how a cell phone is used.
Public Act 98-0506 bans the use of hand-held cell phone devices while behind the wheel, only permitting the use of Bluetooth headsets, earpieces and voice commands, with the only exemptions being for law enforcement officers and first responders. Law enforcement is expected to crack down hard on those who use their phones.
"I think law enforcement is going to be pretty heavy early on," said Effingham County State's Attorney Brian Kibler. "We get a lot of cases of people calling or texting in a school zone and I think this is going to be the same way. It's going to be a reason to pull someone over."
While the new restrictions could lead to more arrests, law enforcement officials said not much training has been needed to prepare officers to look for cell phone users on the road.
Read tomorrow's print edition for the rest of the story.