In 2019, new Illinois traffic laws will impact motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The new laws are established to increase traffic safety and reduce traffic accidents and injuries.
New Illinois Traffic Laws are in Effect
On January 1, 2019, more than a dozen new Illinois transportation-related laws took effect to protect drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists from traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Illinois residents should be aware of the new laws and their contents, as many laws will impose harsher penalties for violations.
Child Car Seats
New laws require all children under the age of two to be strapped into a proper car seat unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds. The car seat must be secured in the back seat facing the rear of the car. Any person who fails to follow the new law can receive a $75 fine for a first offense and a $200 plus fine for a second offense.
If a school bus is used to transport people over 18 years old to a non-school or non-church activity, the “School Bus” sign on the bus must be covered. In addition, flashing lights and the “STOP” signal arm attached to the door must not be operable.
The Dutch Reach Method
When parallel parking, drivers and passengers will be required to use the “Dutch Reach Method.” to open the car door. This requires the person to reach across the body to open the door so the door doesn’t injure pedestrians or cyclists in the door’s path. All new drivers In Illinois will learn the “Dutch Reach Method” in Driver’s Education classes.
Texting and Driving
Although talking and texting on a cell phone while driving is already illegal, many drivers still disobey the law. In 2019, drivers caught texting while driving will receive a moving violation that goes on their driving record. With three violations in a 12-month period, the driver’s license will be automatically suspended.
If a drunk driver is caught driving the wrong way on a one-way street, he/she can be charged with aggravated DUI, a felony offense in Illinois.
In addition to new traffic-related laws to prevent traffic accidents and injuries, there are over 200 additional laws that take effect in 2019. They cover a variety of regulations related to stalking laws for social media, background checks for carnival ride operators, scooter drills for school children, workplace violence, nursing mothers, spousal maintenance, and more.