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 cell phone ban goes to Governor Pat Quinn's desk after passing the House Monday. 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. Cell phone use by drivers already is banned in construction and school zones. Opponents call the ban over-regulation by the state.