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Our View: Begin using hands-free devices

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

By now, you likely have heard that you soon will not be able to use a hand-held phone while driving in Illinois.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the ban into law earlier this month. Texting while driving already is illegal in Illinois. At last check, however, you still are allowed to wolf down that drive-thru cheeseburger while you are driving or put on your makeup while behind the wheel.

Illinois is the 12th state to ban hand-held device use while driving. Washington, D.C., also has such a ban. Fines in Illinois will start at $75 and will reach $150 on your fourth offense.

Supporters of the new law suggest talking and driving is similar to drinking and driving, with drivers being erratic, swerving and stopping quickly.

Regardless of whether you agree with the law, it goes into effect Jan. 1. There’s no point in waiting, however, to begin practicing it.

Start using hands-free devices now.

Most new cars are equipped to sync with phones that have Bluetooth technology. But if you drive an older model car or have an older phone, you will need to buy hands-free gadgets to use your phone while driving.

There’s no time like now to get this equipment and begin using it.

The longer you wait to prepare yourself, the harder it will be to find the necessary technology. We get the feeling it will be a Bluetooth holiday season in Illinois this year.

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