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Three New Laws Effective Jan. 1st, 2012 that Apply to Motorists, Cyclists, and Accident Victims

Our Chicago car accident lawyers saw on Wednesday an article posted on ChicagoNow.com that discussed three initiatives backed by the Active Transportation Alliance that became new traffic laws for 2012. The first public act states that motorists are not allowed to watch a video screen while operating a vehicle. The second public act “provides that the injured, or their representative, in a traffic crash resulting in great bodily harm shall be entitled to notice of court proceedings and to testify at a sentence hearing.” And finally, the third public act (which does not apply when driving in the city of Chicago) states that it is okay for motorcyclists and bicyclists to ride through a stoplight after stopping at a red light only if the light does not turn to green in a reasonable time period.

The laws help to target distracted drivers and also create changes that are important to cyclists. In particular, the third law was created to avoid bicyclists and motorcyclists from stopping at a red light for too long, and not being able to trigger the sensor that causes the light to change color. Although many motorcycle and bicycle accidents occur at intersections for various reasons, this will allow cyclists to proceed through a light after carefully assessing the situation. Hopefully this law will not increase bicycle related accidents that occur at intersections.

Another new law reinforces the dangers of distracted driving. Other laws, such as the texting ban, and laws that regulate the amount of passengers depending on the age of the driver, have already been created to help decrease this number. This video ban law should continue to aid in decreasing the amount of distraction related accidents. We hope that these laws will be strongly enforced to ensure the safety of the driver who might practice these bad habits, as well as the people that they share the road with.

After reading this article, Levin and Perconti wanted to help raise awareness of these new laws. We also wanted to encourage motorcyclists and bicyclists to be extremely cautious with the new law that states they can proceed through an intersection if the light does not change in a reasonable amount of time. A reasonable amount of time can be different according to every cyclist, in addition to having to make absolutely sure that the intersection is safe to cross.

Our Illinois auto accident attorneys also encourage victims to take advantage of the law that states that they are entitled to receive notice of all court proceedings should they so choose. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an accident, you have the right to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver. No matter if the driver was distracted, not paying attention, aggressive, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she can be held liable for their reckless actions. Filing a lawsuit could help victims to receive fair compensation for medical fees, doctor costs, and hospital visits, as well as compensation for a temporary or even permanent absence from work. Please feel free to contact us and a Chicago car accident attorney at our office who would be more than willing to help you evaluate your case and discuss a possible lawsuit.