Illinois State Police issue traffic safety reminders on new 2014
bans cellphone use while driving; rural highway speed limit
increased; penalties for violations stiffen
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[January 02, 2014]
CHICAGO / SPRINGFIELD — Illinois
State Police officials have issued traffic safety reminders
regarding the new 2014 traffic laws that became effective 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
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]