At the beginning of the year a number of new traffic laws went into effect in the state of Illinois, two of them regarding the use of cell phones while driving and a third regarding proper safety procedures following an accident that results in only damage to a vehicle (rather than occupants).
The first new law prohibits cell phone use in construction or maintenance speed zones regardless of the speed limit in those zones. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, motorists can operate a cell phone via voice-activation (including the use of a headset or cell phones used with single-button activation).
The next law prohibits texting or using a hand-held cell phone while driving a commercial vehicle and makes this a serious traffic violation, making the new law in accord with the Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (MCSR) law that prohibits texting and cell phone use by commercial motor vehicle drivers.
The third law allows the driver of a vehicle that was involved in a motor vehicle crash that resulted only in damage to a vehicle to move the vehicle off the highway to the nearest safe location. Possible safe locations include an exit ramp shoulder, a frontage road, the nearest suitable cross street, or other locations that won’t block traffic. The law states that the driver should remain at the safe location until he or she has fulfilled requirements concerning the duty to give information and provide aid.
According to the Illinois DOT, the previous statute said “Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary,” and the change clarifies the language in the statute.
All of these laws went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.