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2012 Brings New Laws for Illinois Drivers

BND.com recently published an article detailing new driving laws that will be enacted within the New Year. According to the article read by our Chicago truck accident attorneys, one of the new laws that will go into effect in 2012 is a new seat belt law known as Public Act 97-0016. This safety law requires that passengers in motor vehicle around the state of Illinois must wear a safety belt during vehicle operation. Previously, Illinois law only required that front seat passengers, as well as, individuals under the age of 19 wear safety belts. Many considerations were taken during the development and implementation of the law, especially the increasing rate of traffic accident injuries and fatalities.

Some of the most recent traffic accident statistics provide more insight into the severe epidemic of traffic fatalities. According to recent accident statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is estimated that an injury results from a traffic accident every 15 seconds nationwide, all the while, a fatality results every 13 minutes as a result of a traffic accident. Additional statistics reviewed by our Chicago truck accident lawyers found that preliminary data released by the state of Illinois indicates that over 821 fatalities have resulted in 2011. With all traffic accident statistics considers, the back seat passenger seat belt law will hopefully cause a significant drop in the amount of serious injuries and fatalities that have occurred from traffic accidents across the state.

Additional driving laws that will go into effect in the upcoming year include speed limits for drivers of large commercial vehicles. The new law increases a truck’s (with the gross weight of more than 8,000 pounds) speed limit from 55 mph – 65 mph on four-lane highways with medians outside of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.

Another Illinois driving law that will directly affect large commercial vehicle drivers will involve mobile device use. As part of the new regulation established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to limit the number of Illinois trucking accidents, Illinois troopers will be required to enforce that prohibited use of hand-held mobile device use by anyone driving a commercial vehicle.

Exceptions to this regulation will only be accepted under the following conditions: the driver is using a hands-free communication device, the driver has moved the commercial vehicle to the side of or off a roadway where the vehicle remains stationary, and/or the driver is involved in an emergency that would required services provided by the police or firemen.