In an effort to reduce cell phone use by drivers, the Illinois state legislature passed three important bills that dramatically limit the use of cell phones while driving, particularly for truckers.
As of Jan. 1, House Bill 5101 and Senate Bills 2488 and 3409 became law for citizens of Illinois, with the support of the state Department of Transportation.
Ann L. Schneider, Illinois Transportation Secretary said, “People are tragically injured and killed in work zones and by commercial motor vehicles due to distracted driving. Cell phone distractions have been proven to be as dangerous as drinking and driving. These laws will stiffen distracted driving laws and save lives.”
The House of Representatives passed Bill 5101, which makes texting or using a cell phone when driving a commercial vehicle a major traffic violation. This is an amendment to a previously implement law that only banded texting while driving, bring it into line with the Motor Carrier Safety Regulations mandate that prohibits all cell phone use by commercial drivers.
Senate Bill 2488 applies to a wider audience and decreases the risk of accidents in construction speed zones. No cell phones are to be used, unless the motorist is using a headset or other voice-operated, hands-free device. This law is unique in that all work zones are included in this mandate, regardless of the speed limit. Prior to the passing of this law, the posted speed determined the severity of the violation. As of Jan. 1, all motorists using a cell phone in a construction or maintenance zone will be considered in violation of the law.
Senate Bill 3409 does not involve cell phone use, but instead ensures the safety of traffic accident victims and encourages traffic flow around a collision. The driver of a crashed vehicle is now permitted to move the damaged vehicle off of the main highway to a safer location, such as an exit ramp, a shoulder, frontage road, or cross street. The goal of this law is to reduce traffic obstruction, which will decrease the risk of subsequent accidents.
The driver is required to remain with the vehicle until permitted to leave by the authorities.
This bill clarifies a previous mandate that recommended moving the car to safety to state that moving the car will not result in a traffic violation.
“The decisions made immediately following a crash are critical. This law will reduce the chances of further injury and secondary crashes by allowing able vehicles to clear the roadway following a crash,” commented Schneider.
The legislature and Department of Transportation hopes that these changes and amendments will reduce the number of accidents caused by cell phone use and blocked highways. The laws came into effect on Jan. 1, and are now being reinforced by the Illinois State Police.
These laws could potentially prevent a number of construction site, automobile, and trucking accidents, and save countless lives as a result. For those who have been injured in an accident, these laws come just a little too late.
It is not too late to pursue justice for the medical hardships you have faced as a result of your accident. If you were injured in an automobile or trucking accident, or were hurt at a construction site by a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The lawyers at the Killino firm will represent your best interests and argue on your behalf in a court of law. If you are suffering from an accident-related injury, contact the Killino Firm today via the form below for a free case evaluation.