August 12, 2012 (Press-News.org) New Laws Hope to Improve Safety on Illinois Roads
Unfortunately, The Chicago Sun Times reports that there has been a 9 percent increase in traffic deaths in Illinois in 2012 compared to last year. This figure includes a sharp increase in motorcyclist deaths.
Distracted driving is thought to play a significant role in these car accidents, with drivers checking their phones or texting while they are driving. The total number of traffic fatalities is now broadcast on electronic billboards near Chicago expressways, and officials hope this will encourage people to be safer drivers, leading to fewer serious injuries and deaths.
New Laws Target Speeding and Distracted Driving
Several new Illinois driving laws aim to improve road safety and reduce distracted driving. Julie's Law, named after a crash victim from the Chicago area who was killed by a driver going 76 mph in a 40 mph zone, attempts to deter speeders. Under the law, drivers face stiffer penalties if convicted of operating a motor vehicle on Illinois highways at a speed more than 30 mph over the speed limit, or greater than 25 mph over the speed limit in urban areas. Julie's Law becomes effective on July 1, 2013.
Other laws focus on distracted driving. The use of cellphones while driving will be prohibited in all construction and maintenance work zones beginning January 1, 2013. Previously, cellphone use was only prohibited in work zones that posted reduced speed limits.
Additionally, commercial drivers are will be prohibited from using hand-held cellphones and texting while driving on January 1, 2013, bringing the Illinois Vehicle Code into compliance with federal law. Engaging in these activities is considered a "serious traffic violation" under the new legislation, which can affect a driver's commercial driver's license.
People injured in a car accident due to a speeding, distracted or otherwise negligent driver may have a legal claim against that driver in a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist with pursuing any legal claims available.
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New Laws Hope to Improve Safety on Illinois Roads
Traffic fatalities in Illinois have increased by nine percent this year.
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