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Illinois to Ban Videoconferencing While Driving

By Sally Weldin, Sr. Human Resource Specialist
Published September 26, 2023

man sitting behind wheel in car, holding cell phone as if on video callEver had a Zoom meeting with someone driving a vehicle? Participated in a Microsoft Teams meeting with a coworker wearing a seat belt and gripping a steering wheel? Well, Illinois doesn’t want you to Zoom when you drive. The state is set to restrict videoconferencing while driving as of January 1, 2024. 

Back in 2010, driving and texting became illegal for drivers in Illinois. Employers began to prohibit employees from texting on mobile devices while driving on company time and for work purposes. Four years later, Illinois banned cellphone usage while driving without the use of a hands-free device. Employees began to use hands-free implements that allowed them to continue to communicate as necessary while driving. 

Now, in a nod to further prevent driving distractions, Illinois will limit videoconferencing while driving a vehicle. Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias proposed the amendment to the Illinois Vehicle Code and Illinois HB2431 was signed into law on July 28, 2023. 

Effective January 1, 2024, individuals may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device, including using an electronic communication device to watch or stream video, participate in any video conferencing application (including, but not limited to, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or WebEX), or access any social media site, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, or X (formerly known as Twitter).

Electronic communication devices include hand-held wireless phones, hand-held digital assistants, tablets, or portable or mobile computers. It does not include GPS or a navigation system or device that is physically or electronically integrated with the motor vehicle.

Exemptions include (but are not limited to):

  • Drivers using an electronic communication device for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel during the emergency situation.
  • Drivers using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-operated mode (video not activated).
  • Drivers using an electronic communication device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway.
  • Drivers 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.
  • Drivers using two-way or citizens band radio services.
  • Drivers using an electronic communication device by pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication.

Recommended employer action includes amending the organization’s cell phone/mobile device policy by adding the prohibition of employees initiating or participating in videoconference calls or meetings while driving for work purposes and during work hours. 

HR Source members can request a sample mobile device policy by contacting the HR Hotline Online or at 800-448-4584.

Is it common for employees to attend virtual meetings while driving, or have you already banned this practice? Join the discussion and share your experiences in the All Members Community on HR Exchange.