CHICAGO
11/10/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Cell Phone Driving Law Relaxed

Chicago motorists who get caught talking on cell phones while driving without a hands-free device would no longer lose their driver's licenses, under a mayoral plan that would have spared a North Side alderman political embarrassment.

Last year, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) got pulled over and ticketed for yakking on his cell phone while driving. He was forced to hand over his license like thousands of other motorists.Tunney then called Town Hall District Cmdr. Gary Yamashiroya and demanded to know why officers in an "understaffed police district" with serious unsolved crimes were "assigned to pull people over solely for cell phone violations."

In response, Yamashiroya ordered a police officer -- not the one who wrote the $50 ticket -- to hand-deliver Tunney's driver's license to the alderman's ward office.

Motorists generally get licenses back only after they go to court or pay their fines.

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