HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WBBM) — The New Year could be a hands-free one for motorists in Highland Park.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Julie Mann reports, the Highland Park City Council is expected to take up the issue of banning the use of hand-held cell phones for people behind the wheel in the first couple of months of the new year.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Julie Mann Reports

A public hearing is scheduled on the issue in January.

The Chicago Tribune reports the city’s Traffic Commission is recommending making driving and talking on a hand-held cell phone illegal, and more than 1,700 residents who responded to a citywide survey agreed that restrictions on cell phone use while driving are needed.

The City of Chicago has banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving since July 2005. Under the city law, violators are subject to a fine of $50, or $200 if they cause an accident.

The ban does not apply to motorists who are parked or are calling 911.

The state of Illinois also bans the use of cell phones in any form by school bus drivers and by motorists under the age of 18.

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