2014 ushers in the highly publicized ban on the use of cell phones while driving in Illinois. Public Act 098-0506 also known as HB1247 makes it illegal to use a hand held electronic communication device while operating a motor vehicle. There are some exceptions to this ban but there are just a few of importance to the general motoring public. One exception is a “driver using an electronic communication device for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel during the emergency situation”. This means that if you call 911 to report a drunk driver or other dangerous or criminal activity that is occurring and observable immediately to you. A second exception is “a driver using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-operated mode, which may include the use of a headset”. As long as the headset does not cover both ears. This does not include you putting your phone on speaker and laying it on the console. A third exception would be “a driver using an electronic communication device when the vehicle is stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the driver has the motor vehicle transmission in neutral or park”. This could be while waiting for a train crossing to clear or any other situation where you would be able to stop and put the vehicle in park or neutral for an extended time period. For a full listing of this public act go to www.ilga.gov and enter HB1247 in the search function.