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Illinois Governor Signs Safety Laws to Reduce Distracted Driving Accidents

As of recently, there have been many important changes made on Illinois roadways that our Chicago car accident attorneys believe all motorists should be aware of while driving. On Friday, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed four new laws to improve road safety throughout the state by reducing speeding and distracted driving.

Chicago.cbslocal.com states that most publicized law signed is named “Julie’s Law,” named after a 17 year-old Orland Park teen who lost her life last year after being struck by a speeding driver traveling 76mph in a 40mph zone. The governor was joined by legislators, community leaders, and families of crash victims to enact the law, which prohibits courts from granting supervision to any defendant charged with operating a vehicle at a speed greater than 30mph over the posted speed limit on highways, or in excess of 25 mph in urban districts. “Our daughter Julie represents how unsafe everyone’s child and loved ones are out on the roads when excessive speeders, who often repeatedly offend and use loopholes in the laws to escape with minimal if any consequences,” the teen’s mother says. Illinois State Police Troopers believe stiffer penalties will help keep the behavior from becoming a habit. The law is effective July 1st, 2013.

Our Illinois car accident lawyers read that Quinn also signed additional laws to improve traffic safety. One of these laws, effective January 1st, 2013, prohibits the use of cell phones in all roadway work and construction zones, which Quinn hopes will prevent distracted driving and increase protection for work crews. This law is an expansion of a previous law that only prohibited cell phone use in work zones with speed limit reductions. Another piece of legislation signed by Quinn bans motorists from using cell phones when driving within 500 feet of an emergency scene. Thus, talking and taking photos of the scene is prohibited, effective immediately. Finally, the Illinois Vehicle Code has been brought into compliance with federal regulations and prohibits motor vehicle operators from using cell phones or engaging in texting while driving, both being considered as “serious traffic violations.” This law is effective January 1st, 2013.

“By working together, we can deter reckless driving behavior and create safer roads across our state,” Quinn said. “These new laws will protect children and families, and prevent dangerous trends such as speeding and distracted driving.” An Illinois Transportation Secretary also stated, “Our goal is to drive zero fatalities to reality, and these new measures take us another step in the right direction.”

Our Illinois car accident attorneys provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as the result of negligent motorists. We are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of a motor vehicle accident. Please contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.