On August 13, 2013, Governor Quinn signed Public Act 98-0506 , which, effective January 1, 2014, amends section 12-610.2 of the Illinois Vehicle Code to provide that "A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device." 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(b).
Seems pretty straight forward, right? It's not.
The new law defines "Electronic communication device" as "an electronic device, including but not limited to a hand-held wireless telephone, hand-held personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer, but does not include a global positioning system or navigation system or a device that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle."
With that definition in mind, what is a device such as an iPhone, Android, or Samsung Galaxy that acts as a hand-held wireless telephone and a navigation system?
The law "does not apply" to "a driver using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-operated mode, which may include the use of a headset;" or "a driver using an electronic communication device by pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication[.]"
My iPhone allows me to terminate a voice communication by pressing a single button. Does that not count?
Why not simply rely on the prohibition against driving recklessly? Is this new law making life easier for anyone? And more importantly, is it truly going to impact safety? Or are people now just going to be more distracted by trying to have a conversation inconspicuously?