More than 250 new Illinois laws went into effect at the start of 2020, ranging from higher education and job applications to criminal justice.
Pignatelli & Associates helps you sift through the new legislature with five new laws that Illinois residents need to know.
1. TRAFFIC ACCIDENT INJURY, SCOTT’S LAW
Personal Injury lawyer Louis Pignatelli often gets questions about “Scott’s Law” because his clients have seen the signs on the expressway.
After three Illinois State Troopers were killed in 2019, Scott’s Law is getting an update.
Scott’s Law now requires drivers to change lanes, slow down and proceed with caution when approaching emergency vehicles or disabled cars on the side of the highway. Negligent or Reckless drivers found to violate Scott’s Law will be fined at least $250 for the first violation at least $750 for the second, reaching as high as $10,000. PA 101-0173 amends 625 ILCS 5/1-100.
2. AVOID ACCIDENTS INVOLVING SCHOOL BUSES
Personal Injury attorney Beth Adams cautions drivers should be extra careful to avoid car accidents around school buses: this measure doubles fines for negligent or reckless drivers cited for illegally passing a school bus from $150 to $300 for the first violation and from $500 to $1,000 for any subsequent violations. PA 101-0055 amends 625 ILCS 5/1-100.
3. DECREASE CAR AND TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN CONSTRUCTION ZONES
David Rice cautions his clients to understand penalties in construction zones. The maximum penalty for hitting a worker in a construction zone increases from $10,000 to $25,000 in the New Year, and those who disobey traffic-control devices in a highway construction or maintenance zone will face fines between $100 and $1,000. PA 101-0172 amends 625 ILCS 5/11-908.
4. ELECTRONIC/VIDEO USE AND DISTRACTED DRIVING INJURIES
One of the trial lawyers at Pignatelli & Associates, Kimberley Mewhirter explains her clients want to know what “distracted driving” means.
Drivers will be ticketed if they are found to use an electronic device to stream or watch videos while on the road under this new law, with violations punishable by a fine of $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second, $125 for a third and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense. PA 101-0297 amends 625 ILCS 5/12-604.1, 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2.
5. AGGRAVATED DISTRACTED DRIVING PENALTIES
Trial lawyers at Pignatelli & Associates often represent clients who have been personally injured by distracted driving.
The new law provides the Secretary of State may suspend or revoke driving privileges of a person who has committed a violation involving the use of an electronic communication device while driving that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, and that in such case the driving privileges of the person shall be suspended for 12 months. PA 101-0090 amends 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2.
Pignatelli & Associates P.C., 102 East Rock Falls Road, Suite 1, Rock Falls, IL 61071, 815.626.0500, www.pignatellilaw.com