Here is a summary of the new traffic and DUI laws that have taken effect in in 2012 and 2013:
Cellular Telephone Ban Emergency Scenes
Commercial Drivers No Texting or Cellular Telephone Usage While Driving
(P.A. 97-0829 effective January 1, 2013 Amends 625 ILCS 5/6-500, new 5/6-526 and 5/6-527)
Commercial drivers may not type or read texts from a device while driving, even when temporarily stationary (such as a red light or train crossing). Also prohibits a commercial driver from using hand-held mobile phone with one hand while driving; by pressing more than one button to make or receive calls; or, by leaving the seat belted position to retrieve the phone while driving. This will be a “serious traffic violation” for commercial driver’s license purposes.
Cellular Telephone Ban in Construction and Maintenance Speed Zones
(P.A. 97-0830 Effective Date January 1, 2013 Amends 625 ILCS 5/12-610)
No person may use a wireless telephone at any time while operating a motor vehicle in a construction or maintenance speed zone.
Mandatory Requests for DUI Testing
(P.A. 97-0471 Effective August 22, 2011 Amends 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2)
If a police officer has probable cause to believe a person involved in a motor vehicle accident causing personal injury or death was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the law enforcement officer shall request a chemical test.
Fraudulent Use of Disability Placard of Deceased Individual
(P.A. 97-0844 Effective January 1, 2013 625 ILCS 5/6-205; 625 ILCS 5/6-206; 625 ILCS 5/11- 1301.3; 625 ILCS 5/11-1301.5; 625 ILCS 5/11-1301.6)
A Class A misdemeanor and $2,500 fine to use a disability license plate or parking decal or device to exercise privileges granted through the use of those items while the person to whom the disability license plate or parking decal or device was originally issued is deceased. The violator will have their parking privileges revoked by the Secretary of State.
Speeding 31 mph Plus Above Limit – No Supervision
(P.A. 97-0831 Effective July 1, 2013 Amends 720 ILCS 5/7-1)
Courts may not grant court supervision to a violator when they are charged with speeding that is 31 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit established under the Illinois Vehicle Code or a local ordinance.
Leaving Scene of Accident – Moving Vehicle to Safe Place
(P.A. 97-0673 Effective January 1, 2013 Amends 625 ILCS 5/11-402)
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in only vehicle damage may move the vehicle as soon as possible off the highway to the nearest safe location on an exit ramp shoulder, a frontage road, the nearest suitable cross street, or other suitable location that does not obstruct traffic and remain at that location until the driver has fulfilled the requirements of the Section of the Illinois Vehicle Code concerning the duty to give information and render aid.
Revocation of Driving Privileges from Drug Offenses
(P.A. 97-838, eff. 7-20-12 Amends 625 ILCS – multiple sections)
The Secretary of State will immediately revoke driving privileges of a person convicted of second or subsequent conviction of illegal possession for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of any controlled substance prohibited under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, any cannabis prohibited under the Cannabis Control Act, or any methamphetamine prohibited under the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. Persons convicted of a second or subsequent time will have their license suspended for 5 years.
Motorcycle Red Light Law
(P.A. 97-762, eff. 7-6-12 Amends 625 ILCS 5/11-208.6; 625 ILCS 5/11-306)
A driver of a motorcycle may proceed through a red light that fails to change to a green light “within a reasonable period of time not less than 120 seconds” (instead of “within a reasonable period of time”).