Illinois law: Headphones while driving, legal or not?

If your car radio malfunctions or you need to take a crucial phone call while driving, you might be tempted to use headphones. While it’s an option, there are potential risks involved, and in some cases, it may even be illegal.

The legality of using headphones while driving varies from state to state, and in Illinois, there are specific laws governing this practice. Here’s what you need to know:

In Illinois, the use of headphones while driving is generally discouraged, as stated in the most recent statute passed in 2019. The Illinois Vehicle Code (Section 625 ILCS 5/12-610) outlines the regulations:

The term “headset receiver” encompasses headphones, earbuds, or any similar device, and the law is quite broad in its application.
Exceptions are provided for certain circumstances, such as:

Additionally, the Illinois Vehicle Code permits the use of “single-sided headset” equipment.
Penalties for violating these regulations may vary, especially if the use of headphones results in a traffic violation or a crash. Typically, fines under the Illinois Vehicle Code can reach up to $500.

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