Monday, December 30, 2013
 
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Illinois State Police issue traffic safety reminders on new 2014 laws

Speed limit & cellphone ban enforced

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[December 30, 2013]  CHICAGO / SPRINGFIELD Illinois State Police officials have issued traffic safety reminders regarding the new 2014 traffic laws that become effective on Jan. 1 and will most likely affect motorists driving throughout Illinois.

Public Act 98-0511, which amended the Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/11-601, changes the existing legal speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph on all rural interstates. The act also allows eight counties Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, McHenry, Lake, Madison and St. Clair with heavily congested highways to opt out and maintain the current 55 mph speed limit.

In addition to the rural interstates, speed laws have been strengthened on all streets, highways and roads throughout Illinois. Speeding 26 mph over the posted limit is now a Class B misdemeanor, and speeding 35 mph or more over the posted limit is a Class A misdemeanor.

Public Act 98-0506 bans the use of hand-held cellphone devices behind the wheel. Bluetooth headsets, earpieces and voice-activated commands are permitted. The only exemptions from this law apply to law enforcement officers or first responders, drivers reporting emergencies, and drivers using electronic devices while parked on the shoulder of a roadway.

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Motorists who violate this section shall be fined a maximum of $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense.

Penalties for distracted drivers who injure others or cause fatal crashes by the use of a cellphone would face a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in fines up to $2,500 and less than a year of jail time. Drivers involved in fatal accidents could be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries fines up to $25,000 and up to three years of jail time.

[Text from file received from the Illinois State Police]

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