Updates on cases, laws, and other topics of interest to local governments

Subscribe by Email

Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a Reader

Follow Municipal Minute on Twitter


Blog comments do not reflect the views or opinions of the Author or Ancel Glink. Some of the content may be considered attorney advertising material under the applicable rules of certain states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please read our full disclaimer

Friday, December 27, 2013

Motorist's Conviction for Using Cell Phone in School Zone Upheld on Appeal

The Village of Schaumburg ticketed a motorist for failure for using a cell phone in a school zone in violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code. He was found guilty and assessed a $100 fine.  The motorist appealed, claiming he was not using his phone at the time and school was not in session.  He included a copy of his cell phone records with his brief, arguing it was evidence that he was not using his phone prior to the traffic stop. 
In a Rule 23 Order in Village of Schaumburg v. Kurter, the appellate court refused to consider the phone records attached to the brief because it was not a proper method of supplementing the record.  The court also presumed the court's ruling had a sufficient basis because the motorist failed to include a transcript of the trial.  As a result, the trial court's judgment against the motorist was affirmed.
Even if the court had allowed the cell phone records in, it's not clear they would have been enough to support the motorist's case since the records would only demonstrate call or text activity, and would not capture other common smart phone activities such as playing Candy Crush or Words with Friends.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


  1. Maybe an argument that 625 ILCS 5/12-610.1(e)(v) (and 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(d)(9)) that creates an exclusion if “a driver using an electronic communication device by pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication" is ambiguous, as pretty much every current cell phone I'm aware of uses a single button to answer and end a call.

    I realize this is likely meant for Bluetooth headsets, built-in vehicle dialing, etc., but it is very poorly drafted, IMO. Guessing we'll see it tested soon?

  2. Good point! We are going to see more litigation after the new law takes effect on January 1st prohibiting all electronic device use while driving except for hands-free.

  3. From my experience, routinely dropping off a 7th grader and Freshman, this law is ignored as often as the speed limits. There will be plenty of fines issued and if I read this correctly there seems to be no defense. The phone records should be able to prove whether the phone is in use or not.