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HouseTalk – IL Cell Phone Law Changes

HouseTalk (literally) I am always using my cell phone.  Along with all Illinois cell phone users – on January 1 – we will all need to make adjustments.  The law changes are below.
Laws that Affect Your Mobile Businessby Kara Kienzler on December 28, 2009

37033948Text Messaging Ban

Effective January 1, 2010, text messaging while driving becomes an illegal act in the State of Illinois, with fines starting at $75. The law (Public Act 096-0130) says: A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send or read an electronic message. Electronic message includes, but is not limited to electronic mail, a text message, an instant message or a command or request to access an Internet site. A stop sign or stop light does NOT waive this restriction.

This new law does have certain exceptions. They are:

  • a law enforcement officer or operator of an emergency vehicle while performing his or her official duties;
  • a driver using an electronic communication device for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel during the emergency situation;
  • a driver using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-activated mode;
  • a driver using an electronic communication device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway; or
  • a driver using an electronic communication device when the vehicle is stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the driver has the motor vehicle transmission in neutral or park.

No Cell Phones in School Zone

busstopAnother new law that will take effect January 1, 2010 is vehicular phone use in school zones. According to the law (Public Act 096-0131) a person, regardless of age, may not use a wireless telephone at any time while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway in a school speed zone or on a highway in a construction or maintenance speed zone. There are a few exceptions such as a person engaged in a highway construction or maintenance project for which the speed zone is established, a person using the wireless telephone for emergencies, or a person using a phone in voice-activated mode.

Reminder on Other Miscellaneous Cell-Phone Restrictions

Illinois has current statutes governing cell phone use by teen drivers and operators of a school bus. Drivers under the age of 19 are prohibited from using a cellular device or any type of hand-held communication device wile operating a motor vehicle.

Additionally, Illinois is one of six states that allow municipalities to establish their own laws regarding cellular phone use while driving. Chicago’s hands-free ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2005.  The Chicago law makes it illegal for drivers to talk on cell phones while operating a motor vehicle without a hands-free device.

Be sure to investigate similar municipal regulations before your travel.



December 30, 2009 Posted by | 1st Time Buyers, Community Information, Investors, Real Estate Tips, Repeat Buyers, Seniors on the Move, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

HouseTalk – More on Extended Tax Credit

I know a lot has been said about the extended tax credit. However there are still many people who are not aware that the tax credit was extended to all home buyers. The $8000 tax credit for 1st time buyers was extended. A $6500 tax credit for “repeat” home buyers was added. If you have owned a home 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years, you  may qualify for $6500 tax credit. There are income restrictions. You also have to be under contract for your home purchase by 4/30/2010 and close on the home by July 1, 2010. For specific information – check out

Yesterday, I was holding a public open house and a potential buyer dropped in that was not aware that the tax credit was available to non-1st time buyers. $6500 isn’t that much and may not be enough of an incentive for some buyers to make a move – but it will/or can cover the cost of new carpet, appliances, window coverings or replace some mechanicals in a home.  Combine the $6500 with low-interest rates and a great selection of homes – it makes sense to consider purchasing a home now.

These are just some of the buyers that may be eligible for the tax credit:    1)Seniors/retirees that are downsizing to another “primary” home, 2) investors that want to keep their existing home for a rental and purchase another home as their primary residence, 3) an individual that sold their home  in the last couple of years and is currently renting plus many other scenarios.  For more details, contact me anytime or also call your CPA to verify that you do qualify.

Spread the word to your family and friends that are considering a move.  April 30th will be here before we know it. 


December 1, 2009 Posted by | 1st Time Buyers, Investors, Repeat Buyers, Seniors on the Move | , , , , , | 1 Comment