State Rep. John D'Amico of Chicago said the time has come to get serious about making the roads in Illinois as safe as possible, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.
D'Amico is the chief sponsor of legislation that passed the Illinois House 62-53 to permit cellphone use while driving only if it is hands-free or used with a headset.
If the Senate passes his bill, fines for breaking the hands-free law would start at $75 for a first offense and increase to $150 for repeat offenses.
Those penalties are stiffer in Chicago where motorists are already prohibited from holding a cellphone while driving.
The National Transportation Safety Board has advocated a crackdown following a series of deadly accidents attributed to cellphone use.
Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over Sarah Palin comments
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet