New motor vehicle laws enforced by Illinois police

By on January 7, 2012

Springfield—Beginning Jan. 1, Illinois State Police (ISP) began enforcing new motor vehicle laws that passed in 2011, as the push to decrease traffic fatalities remains a top priority for law enforcement officials across Illinois.

The ISP’s most common traffic violations—speeding, DUI, seat belts, and distracted driving—remain a top priority for ISP troopers to enforce, and will be further enhanced with new laws that took effect at the beginning of the year.

“Traffic fatalities are under 1,000 for the third straight year, but one traffic fatality is one too many,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “Although there are many factors that contribute to the reduction of traffic crash fatalities, it is no coincidence that seat belt compliance in Illinois has increased, as the number of fatalities has decreased.”

Grau also pointed to the fact that public safety partnerships and awareness campaigns also contribute to the compliance level of motorists and passengers.

The ISP continues to support safety education programs and initiatives, which have had a direct impact on public safety and have reduced the number of traffic crash fatalities on Illinois roadways. As of Dec. 29, 2011, preliminary data indicated Illinois had experienced 821 traffic crash fatalities in 2011, which are 26 fatalities less than the same time period in 2010.

Seat belts for all occupants
Illinois State Police will enforce a new seat belt law that requires all passengers of a motor vehicle to be properly restrained when the vehicle is operated on a street or highway.

The previous legislation only required the front seat driver, passenger, and passengers under the age of 19 to wear a seat belt. The new legislation requires all passengers traveling inside a vehicle to be properly restrained. The new law does not apply to back seat taxicab passengers, authorized emergency vehicles or those issued a medical exemption.

Enforcement of federal motor carrier
safety administration regulation

This new regulation prohibits the use of a hand-held mobile device by anyone driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). The regulation also prohibits motor carriers from requiring drivers to use a hand-held device while operating a CMV on a highway. The only exceptions are when the mobile device is being used with a hands-free application, when the CMV is pulled over and completely stopped at a safe location, or when a CMV driver is requesting emergency police or fire services.

Since the inception of distracted driving laws in 2010, the Illinois State Police has issued over 19,540 citations and written warnings to distracted drivers. Commercial motor vehicle operators account for 2.5 percent of the citations and warnings issued.

A mobile telephone is considered a mobile communication device that falls under or uses any commercial mobile radio service as defined by the Federal Communications Commission. The definition does not include two-way or Citizens Band (CB) radio services.

Truck speed limits
This new law took effect on Jan. 3 and increases the speed limit for second division vehicles traveling on four-lane highways where the speed limit is 65 miles per hour.

The legislation removes the split speed limit provision for second division vehicles with gross weights of 8,001 pounds (or more) operated on a four-lane highway outside the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will. The previous law restricted second division vehicles to a maximum speed of 55 miles per hour.