Beginning on January 1, 2013, Illinois drivers have three new traffic safety laws to obey.
The first, Senate Bill 2488, bans the use of cell phones in construction or maintenance speed zones regardless of speed limit. Previously, the speed limit in a work zone had to be lower than the posted speed limit. Also, drivers are allowed to use cell phones as long as they're voice-operated, including the use of headsets or cell phones with single button activation.
House Bill 5101 bans texting or the use of a hand-held cell phone while driving a commercial motor vehicle. Previously, just texting was prohibited.
"People are tragically injured and killed in work zones and by commercial motor vehicles due to distracted driving. Cell phone distractions have proven to be as dangerous as drinking and driving," Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. "These laws will stiffen distracted driving laws and save lives."
The third and final bill, Senate Bill 3409, allows drivers who have been involved in crashes that involve only vehicle damage to move the vehicle off the highway to the closest safe location. Safe locations include exit ramp shoulders, frontage roads, the nearest suitable cross street, or any other location that will not obstruct traffic. The driver should then remain at that location until all requirements are fulfilled concerning giving information and rendering aid.
For more information on traffic safety from the Illinois Department of Transportation, visit www.trafficsafety.illinois.gov.