January 1 will be here before you know it and when it arrives, you better not call someone to wish them a “Happy New Year” on your hand-held cell phone if you are driving in the State of Illinois. A new law will go into effect on January 1 where Illinois motorists could face a $75 fine if they are caught using their cellphone without a hands-free device. The law also increases the penalties where any use of an electronic device while driving is the cause of an accident.

This new hands-free driving law comes after Illinois lawmakers already banned texting while driving. Last January lawmakers made it illegal to talk on a cellphone while driving through a school zone or a construction zone.

Statistics showed that distracted driving caused 387,000 injuries and more than 3,000 fatalities across the country in 2011.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn also approved a bill which will boost penalties to up three years in prison if a motorist causes a fatal accident while using an electronic device.

One thing this law has done is increase the sales of “Blue Tooth” and other hands-free devices, especially as Christmas gifts.