Several new Illinois traffic laws that are reportedly aimed at increasing safety are slated to take effect in 2013. Although some of the new laws simply amend those previously passed, others are completely new.
Staring January 1st, law enforcement officers will be required to request a chemical test for any driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an injury accident or a crash during which a person was killed. For the law to apply, an officer must have probable cause to believe a motorist used drugs or consumed alcohol prior to the collision. In addition, the Illinois Secretary of State will begin revoking the driving privileges of motorists who are convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs specified in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis Control Act, or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act on more than one occasion. Operator’s license suspensions will last for a period of five years.
In 2013, Illinois motorcyclists will be required to wait at least 120 seconds prior to legally driving through a red traffic signal that fails to change. Additionally, motorists may move their vehicle following a crash in order to avoid obstructing traffic without being charged with leaving the scene of an accident so long as they fulfill the information and aid requirements set forth in the Illinois Vehicle Code.
Beginning in the New Year, all motorists in Illinois will be prohibited from operating a mobile phone in a roadway construction zone or a maintenance speed zone. In addition, cellular telephone use will be prohibited within 500 feet of an accident or other emergency after an ambulance or emergency vehicle has responded to the scene.
In 2013, tractor-trailer and other commercial drivers will no longer be allowed to use a hand-held wireless telephone to talk, send text messages, or read emails while on an Illinois roadway. A violation of the new law will be considered a serious violation against a commercial operator’s license. The law is similar to a federal regulation that previously banned the use of hand-held cellular phones by interstate commercial vehicle drivers. The federal ban also applies to text messages and other electronic communications.
Beginning July 1, 2013, motorists charged with speeding more than 31 miles per hour above the posted limit will no longer be eligible for the option of court supervision. Court supervision requires someone who was accused of certain crimes in Illinois to avoid conviction by completing specific requirements during a specified time frame. The change was reportedly made in order to combat the dangers associated with traveling at excessive speeds and racing on Illinois streets.
In 2011, more than 280,000 motor vehicle crashes occurred on Illinois roads. Sadly, almost 85,000 people were hurt and more than 900 were killed as a result. The victim in a Chicago car accident may be entitled to receive damages for any harm that was caused by someone else’s negligent or illegal act. If you were injured or tragically lost a loved one in a Chicago auto accident, you are advised to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you are able.