cell phones

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

There are several posts circling around social media about cell phone chargers becoming fire hazards. Two area fire officials say there are ways to address that kind of fire prevention.

DeKalb Deputy Fire Chief Jeff McMaster says a plugged-in cell phone charger can become a fire hazard if it keeps drawing power, overheats, and it’s charging in a place where there’s a lack of ventilation – like underneath your pillow or blankets. He says the hazard is still there even if the phone is plugged in.

Illinois Democrats took another step in budget negotiations Tuesday, proposing a spending plan for state government.

House Speaker Michael Madigan acknowledged it won’t meet every request of Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“But I think that it goes a long way toward giving the state of Illinois a good solid spending plan that responds to the real needs of the state," he said, "and, significantly, is below the level of the governor’s introduced budget."

https://www.flickr.com/photos/got_legos/ (CC BY 2.0)

More than 100,000 Illinois drivers were convicted for illegally using their cell phones. That’s since the law went into effect in 2014.

The law says drivers can use their cell phones only with the help of a hands-free device. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office says fewer than one percent of those convictions were from repeat offenders.

New Traffic Laws For 2014

Dec 31, 2013
photo credit by flickr user Peter Kaminski (CC BY 2.0)

You may have already heard that in the new year Illinois' speed limit will rise to 70 on many highways, and that you can no longer talk on your cell phone while driving unless it's hands free.

If you're driving and are on your cell phone, or some other electronic device, and cause a crash that results in someone getting badly hurt or dying, the penalty is now steeper.

Illinois is also removing wiggle-room in the sentencing of drivers who are at fault for causing an accident that kills someone -- whether or not a cell phone was involved.

A bill sitting on the governor’s desk would ban Illinois drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. The measure would still allow motorists to use hands free devices. But some want a law restricting that option as well.