The State Journal-Register reports that lawmakers are considering a number of new laws aimed at increasing traffic safety in Illinois. Last year, the most significant legislation to come out of the capitol was a law that banned text messaging by drivers and cell phone use in school zones and construction sites.
Laws being considered this year:
Toughening crosswalk safety, lawmakers are considering a law requiring motorists to stop at a crosswalk with a pedestrian in it in an effort to reduce Illinois pedestrian accidents. Currently, Illinois law uses the more ambiguous “yield” wording when dealing with crosswalks and pedestrians.
Supporters contend the law would be easier for authorities to enforce. The measure would apply to unregulated crosswalks, not those regulated by traffic signals or stop signs. Drivers who fail to stop would face a fine of at least $150.
Illinois Teen Drivers
Driving hours could be reduced for teenagers in an effort to combat Illinois car accidents involving teen drivers.
Proposed legislation would reduce by half an hour the amount of time drivers under 18 could be on the road on Friday and Saturday nights. Teen drivers would have to be off the road by 10:30 p.m. Currently, young drivers are not allowed to be on the road from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. and between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the week.
The measure has the support of the American Automobile Association.
“Friday and Saturday nights statistically are the most dangerous times of the week for teens to be driving,” AAA spokeswoman Beth Mosher said. “Research has shown that teen injuries and fatalities are reduced when the nighttime driving provision is set earlier.”
A proposed law would not allow court supervision, a form of probation that can keep a citation off a driver’s record, for motorists caught going more than 40 mph over the speed limit. Driving more than 40 mph over the speed limit is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $25,000 fine. However, an investigation by the media recently found more than half of drivers ticketed for driving 100 mph or faster received court supervision.
Under the proposal, drivers caught going 30 to 39 mph over the limit would also face serious consequences, including up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine.
Illinois Bicycle Safety
A proposed law would toughen the penalty on drivers who cause an Illinois bicycle accident, pedestrian accident or accident involving a horse-drawn carriage. If a victim suffers serious injuries, a driver could face 2-5 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
The law would also make it illegal to throw something at a bicyclist.
Interstate Speed Limit
A proposal to increase the speed to 70 mph on Illinois interstates will not become law after failing to make it out of the senate. The speed limit for semis was raised to 65 mph at the beginning of the year.
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