Governor Signs Laws Designed to Improve Road Safety

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Published on July 21 2012 9:09 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Governor Pat Quinn Friday signed four new laws to improve road safety by reducing speeding and distracted driving.

Senate Bill 2888, also known as Julie's Law, prohibits courts from granting supervision to any defendant charged with operating a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than 30MPH over the posted speed limit, or in excess of 25MPH in an urban district.  The law is named after an Orland Park teenager who was killed after being struck by a driver going 76MPH in a 40MPH zone.  The driver who struck the teen's car had been placed on court supervision seven times for excessive speeding.

Senate Bill 2488 expands the definition of construction and maintenance work zones to include areas where IDOT or a local agency has posted signage advising motorists of an approaching speed zone.  This expansion prohibits the use of cell phones in all roadway work zones, which will prevent distracted driving and increase protection for work crews.  Previously, the use of cell phones was only prohibited in work zones with speed limit reductions.

House Bill 5099 prohibits motorists from using mobile phones when driving within 500 feet of an emergency scene, and expands the definition of "electronic message."  The legislation is designed to reduce distracted driving by banning talking and taking photos on a mobile device near an emergency scene.  The law is effective immediately.

House Bill 5101 brings the Illinois Vehicle Code into compliance with federal regulations, and prohibits a commercial motor vehicle operator from using a hand-held mobile phone or engaging in texting while driving.  The legislation also amends the code to include texting or using a hand-held mobile as a "serious traffic violation."

Senate Bill 2888, Senate Bill 2488 and House Bill 5101 are effective January 1.