New driving laws coming to Illinois - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

New driving laws coming to Illinois

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When you hit the road in Illinois. There are some important changes you need to know about, so you don't get a ticket or worse.

The most publicized law Governor Pat Quinn signed today is "Julies Law". It basically sets limits on how fast you can be driving and still only get court supervision. Supporters believe it could have saved the life of a Chicago area teen.

"Julie was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a speeding car that was traveling at an excessive rate of speed at 76 miles an hour."

Pam Gorczysnki details the accident that killed her daughter in 2011. A driver doing 36 miles per hour over the speed limit slammed into a car the teen was in.

"The man driving the speeding vehicle had been no stranger to speeding violations receiving seven court ordered supervisions in a few years time, two of which were in 7 days of each other and as a result of these multiple supervisions continued to avoid convictions because of that and maintain a drivers license."

Illinois State Police Trooper Brent Massingill says used properly, court supervision is a good deterrent, but with stiffer penalties will help keep the behavior from becoming a habit.

"Court supervision, it is a good thing for some drivers but unfortunately some people don't learn their lesson and when somebody's going that fast they do need to take responsibility or be held responsible and I think this new law will help do that."

Other laws going into effect prevent cell phone use in all work zones. The rule right now only applies to zones where the speed limit changes. Another change coming, a cell phone ban for commercial drivers. Plus, it's illegal to use a cell phone within 500 feet of the scene of an emergency.

"It's not that important that you tweet to all your friends that you just drove by a bad crash. Something bad has already happened, we don't need something else bad to happen," said Massingill.

All these laws take effect at different times: the ban on cell phones in emergency zones is immediate, Julie's Law takes effect July 1, 2013, and the ban on cell phone use by commercial drivers and in construction zones will be enforced starting January 1, 2013.

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