For many drivers, traveling by car is an easy way to get from point A to point B. However, the statistics on automobile accidents are alarming. Studies show that in 2017, there were 311,679 crashes involving vehicles in Illinois. Collisions with injuries made up 21.5 percent of these crashes. Every state has rules of the road that are meant to ensure the safety of everyone traveling on the roadways. Most people know that a motorist must pass a written exam as well as a behind-the-wheel test in order to obtain a driver’s license. However, many Illinois citizens may not know that the state recently passed several new driving laws that went into effect on January 1, 2020. As a driver, it is important to become familiar with this new legislation to avoid a traffic violation as well as a car accident with injuries.

Passing a Stopped School Bus

One of the new laws that will affect Illinois drivers in 2020 involves going around or passing a stopped school bus. These are instances where the bus has its stop sign out and lights flashing while it is stopped to pick up or drop off children while on a two-lane road. This also applies to one-way streets regardless of the number of lanes of traffic. The fines for this illegal maneuver doubled starting on New Year’s Day, from $150 to $300 for a first offense and from $500 to $1,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

Scott’s Law Violations

Scott’s Law requires drivers to slow down, switch lanes, and pass with caution to allow more room for disabled cars or emergency vehicles on the side of the road when their hazard lights are flashing. Commonly referred to as the “move over law,” Scott’s Law was enacted in 2000 after Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was killed by a drunk driver who was speeding and hit him.

Illinois State Police have added the number of patrols to enforce Scott’s law in an effort to reduce the number of serious to fatal injuries. As of the first of the year, drivers who violate Scott’s Law will face steeper fines that can go all the way up to $10,000. Originally, a violation of Scott’s Law would be a minimum fine of $100. Now, the fine for a first offense is a minimum of $250 and $750 for any subsequent violations. Also, the penalty for hitting a construction worker in a designated and marked zone increased significantly from $10,000 to $25,000.

Distracted Driving

Illinois now has some of the strictest laws involving cell phone use when behind the wheel. This ban includes texting while driving and even a driver having a mobile device in his or her hand.

It is important to know that hands-free devices that use BlueTooth technology are allowed for anyone 19 and older.

Even using hands-free technology can be distracting and dangerous since it can still take a driver’s eyes off the road. If a motorist must make a phone call, it is best to pull off to the side of the road even with hands-free technology.

The only occasions when Illinois drivers can use a mobile phone that is not hands-free include:

  • To report an emergency situation
  • While parked on the shoulder of a roadway
  • While stopped due to traffic and the vehicle is in park or neutral

The statute says that a person “may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message.” In addition, drivers will not be able to watch streaming video from any electronic device (phone, tablet) while operating a vehicle.

Contact a Bloomingdale Personal Injury Lawyer

Auto accidents happen on a daily basis, but there are ways to prevent them. New Illinois laws are hoping to reduce the number of crashes that involve injuries. At the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C., we keep abreast of the latest Illinois legislation and how it affects the rules of the road. Our accomplished and determined DuPage County car accident attorneys will fight for your rights to compensation if you are hurt in a vehicle collision. We will examine the details of your case to determine liability if a negligent driver caused the crash. Find out what you may be entitled to by calling us today at 630-665-5678 to schedule your free consultation.




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David Clark

David W. Clark is the founder and owner of the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C., in Wheaton, Illinois. As a sole practitioner in the firm, Mr. Clark has extensive knowledge in the areas of personal injury, workers’ compensation, and limited scope…

David W. Clark is the founder and owner of the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C., in Wheaton, Illinois. As a sole practitioner in the firm, Mr. Clark has extensive knowledge in the areas of personal injury, workers’ compensation, and limited scope representation/pro se help. With more than 20 years of legal experience devoted to personal injury law and those who have been injured in the workplace, Mr. Clark is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Illinois, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.