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New Illinois traffic laws to take effect in 2020

Lawmakers look to curb dangerous habits with several new laws

CHICAGO (December 12, 2019) –There are more than a dozen transportation-related laws set to take effect in Illinois in 2020. As we head into the new year, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is alerting drivers to the new laws that will most impact motorists and pedestrians.

  • No streaming while driving: Starting January 1, 2020, the Illinois vehicle code will be adjusted to specifically ban drivers from watching videos on a personal electronic device. This includes holding the device and using the device to stream video content.
  • Scott’s Law: Slight changes have been made to Scott’s Law, the state’s move over law in construction zones and when approaching stationary vehicles on the side of highways. Clarifies that vehicles need to slow down, change lanes and proceed with caution when approaching disabled vehicles or emergency vehicles on the side of the highway. Increases fines and penalties associated with breaking Scott’s Law. Effective January, 1, 2020.
  • No smoking in cars with minors: In the New Year, a person will not be allowed to smoke in a car containing a person under the age of 18. This rule applies whether the vehicle is in motion, at rest, or has its windows down. Those who violate the law will be fined a maximum of $100 for a first offense and $250 for a second offense. The law does not apply to minors who are the sole occupant of a vehicle. Law takes effect on June 1, 2020.
  • License suspension for failure to yield right of way at crosswalks and school zones: Motorists who commit a right-of-way violation at a crosswalk or a crosswalk in a school zone that results in bodily harm or death will face a one-year suspension of their licenses, according to “Mason’s Law.” The legislation was filed in response to the death of an Illinois man who was killed in a traffic crash when a semi failed to obey a posted stop sign. Law takes effect on July 1, 2020.
  • Increased penalty for distracted driving accidents: Starting July 1, 2020, if a driver is found to have been using an electronic communication device in an accident that causes serious bodily harm to another person, the driver will have their license suspended for one year and be subject to a fine of $1,000. Previously, the fine was only assessed per case.

“It is reassuring to see our lawmakers are adapting Illinois laws to prohibit habits that have become increasingly common in the past several years,” said Patrick A. Salvi II, Managing Partner of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.’s Chicago office. “While video and streaming services have become an integral part of our daily lives, they should never be used behind the wheel. These laws are an important reminder that though it is tempting, we don’t need to be connected to our phones 24/7.”

For a full list of new state laws that will take effect in 2020, please click here.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Marcie Mangan, at (312) 372-1227 or mmangan@salvilaw.com.

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