In the state of Illinois, texting or e-mailing while driving is illegal for every driver of any age. Use of a cell phone while traveling through a school or construction zone is also illegal across the board. Adults are permitted to make phone calls while driving in non-restricted areas, but only with a hands free phone system.
Cell phone use of any kind is illegal for drivers under 18—even ones that are “hands free”—except in case of an emergency to contact an emergency services agency, law enforcement agency, or healthcare provider.
Illinois Seat Belt Laws for Teen Drivers
All drivers in Illinois are required to wear a seat belt while a vehicle is in motion. Teen drivers in Illinois are also required to enforce a few seat belt rules for passengers. First, the vehicle must be equipped with seat belts for all back seat passengers—although adults in the back seat are not required to wear them. Second, the driver is responsible for making sure all passengers under 18 in the vehicle wear seat belts. Finally, only one front seat passenger is allowed in any vehicle being driven by someone under 18, and that front seat passenger must wear a seat belt anytime the vehicle is in motion.
Passenger Limits for Teen Drivers in Illinois
For the first 12 months after receiving their driver’s license, Illinois drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to have more than one young passenger (under the age of 20) in their moving vehicle. There is an exception that allows the driver’s siblings or children not to be counted toward that limit.
Passengers between the ages of 15 and 19 can actually be fined for being an over-the-limit young passenger with a teen driver. However, the law is unclear on how a police officer should decide which passenger gets charged with the fine.
** Check with your insurance provider to make sure that you have proper insurance coverage for your teen driver to protect your child and their passengers.
Illinois Curfew Laws for Teen Drivers
Illinois state curfew hours for teen drivers (under 18) are from 11 PM thru 6 AM on Friday and Saturday nights, and 10 PM – 6 AM on all other nights. Between those hours, a teen’s driver’s license is typically invalid.
EXCEPTIONS – There are a few exceptions that can make a minor’s license valid during curfew hours in Illinois. The primary exception is if the teen is driving with a parent, guardian, or “other person in custody of the minor.” Others include running an errand “at the direction of” a parent or guardian; travel between states; going to or from work, or an “official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised by adults.” Minors can drive during curfew hours in an emergency, to exercise First Amendment rights, and if married or emancipated.
** The general Illinois curfew law differs from the Illinois teen drivers curfew law. The general law affects kids 16 and under, and starts an hour later: Midnight – 6 AM on Friday and Saturday nights and 11 PM – 6 AM all other nights. Excluding the Safe Rides program exception, the same exceptions apply to the Illinois general curfew law.
Driving laws are established to help prevent accidents and injuries. If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of someone else, please CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for a FREE legal consultation.