Illinois House Bans Cellphones Near Emergency Scenes

Supporters say it would reduce the risk of careless drivers hitting accident victims or emergency personnel

Tuesday, May 29, 2012  |  Updated 6:37 AM CDT
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House Bans Cellphones Near Emergency Scenes

AP

The flashing lights of a parked ambulance or other emergency vehicle may soon be a sign for Illinois drivers to hang up the phone.

The limited cellphone ban goes to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk. It passed in the House on Monday by 84-30.

The legislation would make it illegal for drivers to make calls with a hand-held phone within 500 feet of an accident scene where emergency vehicles have flashing lights, except for reporting emergencies. It also bans sending picture and video messages while driving at any time.

Supporters say it would reduce the risk of careless drivers hitting accident victims or emergency personnel. Cellphone use by drivers already is banned in construction and school zones.

Opponents call the ban overregulation by the state.

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