It's been against the law to use a hand-held cell phone in your car for a couple of years now. Evanston, Illinois, the city I live in, was one of the early adopters of that type of law, figuring it's way too distracting, resulting in too many accidents and fatalities.
Evanston's always been a progressive city. We were the second city in the country (behind Grand Rapids, Michigan) to adopt fluoridated water. So it's no surprise that we were among the first to adopt a safety-related law restricting the use of cell-phones in cars.
A colleague of mine was stopped the other evening, driving down Central Street, and was given a cell-phone ticket. He was surprised.
"But officer", he complained "I wasn't using my cell phone... you can check my history... I wasn't on my phone!".
The officer explained that as he looked in the driver's window he saw my friend glance down at his phone.
"But I just glanced at it... I wasn't on it, and I wasn't texting or anything! And, when I looked at it, I was stopped at a red light!"
And still, the officer gave him $50.00 ticket... because apparently you aren't allowed to even "view" your cell phone... even if you're stopped at a red light. You need to pull over, and put the car in park, before viewing your cell.
"How", my friend asked, "did you even know that I looked at my phone?"
The officer replied: "it was evening and the glow from your cell phone illuminated your face."