Is it illegal to film while driving in Chicago?

Whether or not it is illegal to film while driving in Chicago depends on who or what is doing the filming. Illinois laws regarding the use of electronic equipment while driving are geared toward reducing the incidence of distracted driving and the accidents that are caused by distracted drivers.

As a general rule, if engaging in an activity while driving has the potential to take your attention off the road and driving conditions, it is not legal to do it. The use of electronic devices while driving has proven to be a big distraction for many drivers and a significant contributor to accidents in Illinois.

is it illegal to film while driving

Can you film while driving?

Illinois law prohibits using electronic communication devices while driving in most instances. The prohibition includes using an electronic communication device to stream or watch video. Electronic communication devices include computers and tablets but not navigation systems that are part of a vehicle.

There are a few exceptions to the prohibition against using electronic communication devices while driving. The use of electronic communication devices is legal in the following circumstances:

  • Hands-free use (if age 19 or older)
  • Use to call 911
  • The driver is parked on the shoulder of the road
  • The driver is stopped due to traffic congestion with the vehicle in neutral or park
  • Driver must press only a single button to answer or end a call

Can you film in a car when someone else is driving?

The laws only prohibit a vehicle’s driver from using electronic communication devices. As a passenger, you can legally film in a car while someone’s driving.

What about dashboard cams?

With a dashboard camera, you can legally film while driving. Dashboard cameras are a way for drivers to capture visual and auditory information while driving without having to handle the device. In Illinois, dashboard cameras are legal. They must be placed on the driver’s side in the lower corner and be less than 5 inches in size. Film from a dashboard camera can be used as evidence after a car accident.

Did you know Illinois has a new law regarding video calls?

Effective January 1, 2024, a recent amendment to the laws concerning the use of electronic communication devices will specifically prohibit participation in any video conferencing application while driving. Using Zoom and Facebook as non-exclusive examples, the new law says watching a video, conferencing by video, or accessing a social media site are all illegal, even if done hands-free or requiring only a single button push to begin or end the connection.

Distracted drivers are more likely to cause accidents

Distracted driving is a problem in Illinois. According to the Illinois Highway Safety Plan Annual Report for 2022, distracted driving was a factor in close to 11,000 of the state’s motor vehicle crashes.

Distracted driving was responsible for more than 10 fatalities and over 4,000 injuries.
Local and state law enforcement agencies issued more than 24,000 citations for distracted driving. The most common distracted driving offenses involved talking or texting on a cell phone.

Hurt in a crash with a distracted driver? Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help.

Being injured in a crash with a distracted driver is especially frustrating because the situation could have been prevented. Filming while driving – unless done by a dashboard camera – is distracted driving and illegal in Illinois.

A Chicago car accident lawyer from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates has over 30 years of experience as the legal voice for clients who need to rebuild their lives after being injured by the actions of careless drivers. Complete the free case evaluation form or call (800) 985-1819 and let us help you get the justice you’re entitled to.