New Illinois Driving Laws Ring In 2012

When Illinois rings in the new year, motorists will see a handful of new driving laws on the books they need to be aware of.

Back Seat Buckle Up

It should not be news to anyone that up until now, both driver and front seat passenger, along with any children under the age of 19, needed to wear safety belts while in the car.

Until now, adult back seat passengers were not legally obligated to wear a seat belt.

But starting January 1st, back seat passengers will not have luxury of going belt free and under the law must also wear a safety belt.

“Safety belts have proven to be effective at reducing the severity of injuries and saving lives in automobile crashes,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

Back seat passengers caught not wearing a seat belt could face a $25 fine.

The only exception to the back seat safety belt law will be in the back of taxis and emergency vehicles.

Motorcycle “Dead” Light Law

Motorcycle riders in Illinois will now have the ability to legally run a red light starting January 1st.

The state legislature passed a bill earlier this year that would allow motorcycle riders stopped at a traffic light to proceed through the red phase of the light after waiting 120 seconds and checking to make sure they can cross the intersection safely.

The law was instituted on the behest of motorcycle riders who would often have to wait for long periods of time at traffic lights that used in ground sensors to change the signal. Most motorcycles are not heavy enough to trigger the in pavement sensors.

Unfortunately for Chicago riders, the statewide law does not apply within Chicago city limits.

Truckers Get New Cell Phone Restrictions

State law will now prohibit drivers of commercial vehicles from using their cell phones without some sort of hands free device like a blue tooth headset.

The law does not apply to CB radios.

10-4 good buddy?

31 Responses to New Illinois Driving Laws Ring In 2012

  1. glg says:

    “Unfortunately for Chicago riders, the statewide law does not apply within Chicago city limits.”

    Most, if not all, Chicago lights are timed and don’t use sensors to trigger a green (left turn arrows is an exception). I’ve had this problem in the burbs, but never in the city.

  2. .Q says:

    3 quick points about the red light act.

    1) It applies to both motorcycles and bicycles.

    2) “waiting 120 seconds” was part of the govenor’s ammendatory veto. Both houses voted to override that veto. The language as enacted is more forgiving to the (bi|motor)cyclist.
    “a steady red signal which fails to change to a green signal within
    a reasonable period of time because of a signal malfunction or
    because the signal has failed to detect the arrival of the
    motorcycle or bicycle due to the vehicle’s size or weight, shall
    have the right to proceed, after yielding the right of way to
    oncoming traffic facing a green signal, subject to the rules
    applicable after making a stop at a stop sign”

    3) In Cook and the collar counties, cyclists must exercise caution at ATLES enforced intersections. While the individual municipalities can’t use the ATLESs, a COUNTY operated ATLES can in counties with population of >2M. I don’t know if there are any county operated ATLES, but this could prove to be very tricky for cyclists to navigate legally if there are.

  3. Pete says:

    Thank God we have the useless Illinois legislature to protect us from ourselves. What would we have ever done if we had to decide on our own if we are going to wear back seat belts?

  4. If the legislators are so worried about traffic how about syncing the traffic signals? Or is there no revenue in that?

  5. [...] newly banned from using their cell phones while driving, also will now be forced to use hands-free devices, The Expired Meter [...]

  6. Anton says:

    What are the new laws for speeding

  7. David says:

    Glg wrote:

    Most, if not all, Chicago lights are timed and don’t use sensors to trigger a green (left turn arrows is an exception). I’ve had this problem in the burbs, but never in the city.

    My Comment:

    Not all. My personal “bugaboo” is the light at Brywn Mawr and Cumberland (which is within that thin wedge of Chicago). Its a Pressure Trigger heading West Bound on Bryn Mawr crossing Cumberland. And the intersection is sufficiently unbusy during parts of the day that you can spend a long time not getting a car which will trigger the green. Normally I get off and cross over and push the walk button.

  8. [...] newly banned from using their cell phones while driving, also will now be forced to use hands-free devices, The Expired Meter [...]

  9. maria dreyer says:

    I’m responding to the bicyclist being able to wait two minutes and then blowing a red light. What are you peolpe thinking?!? I live in Jodaviess county. On one of the most dangerous roads (Blackjack), mid-summer 1,100 of these bikes peddle their way to the Mississippi river. Less than half of them follow the rules of the road. Maybe like the rest of us they should be madated to have INSURANCE and a LICENSE. That will give the state another income, plus the accidents they create. The state has spent lots of money on bike trails, never have I seen these being used. Make these bikers be responsible for driving on public roads. Good luck come summer when they create more accients since they have the rite-of-way!

  10. David says:

    maria dreyer wrote:

    I’m responding to the bicyclist being able to wait two minutes and then blowing a red light. What are you peolpe thinking?!?

    My comment:

    I guess that they are thinking that a traffic control device which prevents a legal user of the road from using the road needs to be “adjusted” to allow the legal user of the road to use the road.

    Maria Dreyer wrote:
    I live in Jodaviess county. On one of the most dangerous roads (Blackjack), mid-summer 1,100 of these bikes peddle their way to the Mississippi river. Less than half of them follow the rules of the road.

    My comment:
    And what percentage of drivers follow the rules of the road? What makes the road dangerous? How does this have ANY relevance to the change in the law with respect to traffic control devices? The answers: less than half, the cars, none.

    Maria Dreyer wrote:

    Maybe like the rest of us they should be madated to have INSURANCE and a LICENSE.

    My comment:
    And how to you propose to “enforce this”? Plus, of course, a car can do a lot more damage than a bicycle. What you really think is that Bicycles are not entitled to use the road. Be honest.

    Maria Dreyer wrote:
    That will give the state another income, plus the accidents they create.

    My comment:
    Have any statistics to support that claim? Didn’t think so.

    Maria Dreyer wrote:
    The state has spent lots of money on bike trails, never have I seen these being used. Make these bikers be responsible for driving on public roads. Good luck come summer when they create more accients since they have the rite-of-way!

    My comment:

    hmmm. And how to you know that they are not being used? Could it be, if they are not being used, that it is because they don’t actually go anywhere? Bikers are already “responsible” for driving on public roads… an error in a car might mean a small dent… and error in a car could be a broken bone or worse. I was hit TWICE this year by cars. Both times by cars at stop signs. I stopped and the cars hit me from behind because I had stopped. And I had a number of cars turn right in front of me. It is attitudes like you which make Bicycle riding more dangerous. Get out of the car, get on a bicycle and actually see the country side.

  11. maria dreyer says:

    I understand your point. But if being hit by a car twice at a stop light or sign, were your brake lights not working? If I were to get rear ened slowing down to turn and I did not have brake lights that properly worked I would be responsible for that accident. Furthermore, cars and motercycles use fuel, we are paying roaduse tax for maintaing the roads. What is your contribution to our roads. Maybe with yor enjoyment of riding bikes that make no contibution to the upkeep of our roads, maybe you could head up an origazation to have bikes licensed and insured. With that extra revenue you could have the state put in bike lanes. Check the internet for bike path maps, sure they are on there somewhere, if they lead to nowhere maybe your orginazation could use the funds to make the paths go somewhere. Not much enjoyment seeing the countryside if you are somewhere that uses stop lights.

  12. Dees says:

    What confuses me about the seatbelt law, is motorcyclist are not required to wear helmets. Strikes me as far more dangerous. Illinois seat belt law seems to be a sanctimonious law designed as a profit generator. For me, has raised ethical questions, not so much that it’s a BAD law.

  13. David says:

    maria dreyer wrote:

    I understand your point. But if being hit by a car twice at a stop light or sign, were your brake lights not working?

    My Comment:

    My BRAKE LIGHTS? On a Bicycle? Its a STOP SIGN. You should expect me to stop and you also are supposed to stop.

    Maria Dreyer wrote:
    If I were to get rear ened slowing down to turn and I did not have brake lights that properly worked I would be responsible for that accident.

    My comment:
    The person who hit you would ALSO get a ticket. One does not have to use brakes to slow down. You are responsible to maintain a safe distance and watch the road.

    Maria Dreyer wrote:

    Furthermore, cars and motercycles use fuel, we are paying roaduse tax for maintaing the roads. What is your contribution to our roads. Maybe with yor enjoyment of riding bikes that make no contibution to the upkeep of our roads, maybe you could head up an origazation to have bikes licensed and insured.

    My Comment:

    I pay when I ride Public Transit. Plus, of course, unlike your SUV, my bicycle doesn’t actually damage the road. I guess you also want to charge pedestrians for using the sidewalk. And, of course, I reduce some demand for gasoline which means that YOU pay less at the pump.

    Maria Dreyer wrote:
    With that extra revenue you could have the state put in bike lanes. Check the internet for bike path maps, sure they are on there somewhere, if they lead to nowhere maybe your orginazation could use the funds to make the paths go somewhere. Not much enjoyment seeing the countryside if you are somewhere that uses stop lights.

    My Comment:
    You are clueless when it comes to riding a bicycle in City Traffic. The most dangerous place in the World is in Bike Lanes. They are highly dangerous for Bicycles because, shock and surprise, the aggressive drivers use them to pass other cars, parking cars weave in and out of bike lanes and they are on very busy streets. Give me a parallel street like Wilson over Lawrence every day of the week. And of course, Bicyclists LIKE stop lights. It means that we can cross intersections safely with the light and not be hit by someone “california stopping” the stop sign.

  14. Larry Loven says:

    Nice to see that only auto drivers, according to the state, have no choices in making their own decisions. cyclists can have no helmet, go through red lights have loud pipes and we the auto driver are treated like children. We have more protection. airbags, seat belts crash tested bumpers and still, if you are an individual driving alone, you have no rights. If I’m alone, I should have the right to not wear a seat belt. All the things done in the name of safety, are for REVENUE purposes. This state is fast becoming a totalitarian state.

  15. Larry Loven says:

    I wonder if all the lawmakers heading down I-55 are scrutinized and subjected to all these laws as they speed toward Springfield or home on recess?

  16. Larry Loven says:

    Notice that for every law, there is an exception….how about making less laws and NO exceptions. makes it simpler and doesn’t clog up the courts——–BUT less revenue, right?

  17. David says:

    Larry Loven wrote:
    January 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Notice that for every law, there is an exception….how about making less laws and NO exceptions. makes it simpler and doesn’t clog up the courts——–BUT less revenue, right?

    My Comment:
    If the stop lights tripped, an exception would not be needed. As it is 120 seconds means that the Bicycle is going to have to stand through one than one “normal” cycle to get through the intersection. This law makes sense although I don’t see how the “confirm” or “check” the 120 second rule…

  18. Crystal says:

    What dumb idiot says that I have to buckle up so somebody else can legally blow a red light? I think that person needs an MRI, oh wait we the taxpayers have to pay for that and we know that a few marbles are loose.

  19. Travis Beuford says:

    As a motorcyclist that has spent a lot of time sitting at stop lights that won’t change, this new law is awesome! Many other states already have this law in the books, and we are just now catching up. As for wearing seatbelts in the back seat, if you have a problem with it don’t buy a car with a back seat. Problem solved.

  20. [...] legislation effective January 1st, 2012 that requires adult passengers in the backseat to wear a safety belt. Previously, adults in the front seat and children in the front or back were required to. Fines [...]

  21. WILD BILL says:

    THE SEAT BELT LAWS ARE A BUNCH OF GRABAGE PEOPLE KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG AND CAN THINK FOR THEM SELFS, YOU DO NOT NEED GOVERMENT TELLING YOU HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE OR WHAT TO DO. THIS IS THE LAND OF THE FREE !! IF YOU WANT TO MAKE BAD DECISIONS FOR YOUR SELF FINE BUT WE DONT NEED TO WAST TAX DOLLARS ON IT ! THANKS JESSE FOR WASTING MORE TAX DOLLARS

  22. kathy says:

    I agree there are too many laws. If u don’t care enough about yourslef or your passengers then I say let you live with the consequences. I see people abusing this motorcycle/bike law and not stopping cause they don’t see anyone coming, but BAM there was a car coming.

  23. Squid says:

    So these state legislators probably ride in a back seat quite often. Guess they better buckle up, cause I’ll ticket them just as I would anyone else.

  24. Chuck says:

    What’s the difference between using a hand free device such as bluetooth with a cell phone and using the “speaker” function of any other cell phone?

  25. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Chuck,

    This is a good question. One that I was pondering the other day when I was using the speaker function because my bluetooth headset battery had just died.

    Here’s my 2 cents based not on the law or anything rooted in reason, but just my opinion.

    I think if you were holding the phone on speaker, it’s a good chance you could get hit with a ticket. I believe the law is to discourage drivers from driving with your hand up to your ear. I know it’s not exactly the same, but I wouldn’t be surprised if drivers get nicked for this type of behavior. At a hearing, you may be able to argue yourself out of it.

    However, if you had one of those phone mounts on the dashboard and were using the speaker function that way, I don’t think there would be any way you could be ticketed.

    Again, please don’t confuse what I just wrote as legal opinion, but regular goofy Parking Ticket Geek opinion.

  26. brown says:

    i want to know if there was a law that was passed jan. 1 about sitting in back of a pick up truck.

  27. bblack says:

    We have absolute speed limits in IL. If you do not understand the term, look it up. Follow the Rules of the Road, as they will save your life. Start Seeing Motorcycles. Follow the 2 Second Rule. Quit being in such a rush…leave earlier for work. A moment of carelessness can cause a lifetime of pain/suffering. STOP the texting, and useless phone calls. Why not follow the Zero Tolerance Law that 16-20 year old driver’s do? Only LOSERS drink/drive. Pulling over to call/text, put flashers on! DRIVE RIGHT. Remember, you are at your best when no one is watching. No Excuses.

  28. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    bblack,

    It sounds like you’ve got a rant just waiting to get out. Perhaps you have a traffic related experience that has impacted your life you’d like to share.

    If you feel like writing a more formal essay or opinion piece for publication here, we would post it.

  29. You say that a new law Illinois law effective Jan. 2013 requires truckers, CVD licensed drivers, to use a hands free device while driving in order to legally talk on a cell phone. HB5101 really goes must further saying:
    one touch to initiate a call,
    one touch to disconnect,
    the driver can not reach for the phone (like if it’s mounted or built in),
    talking must be hands free
    and the entire process should not require taking eyes off the road.
    CB and 2 way radio’s are excluded from legislation, therefore, they are the only legal choice unless all these requirements are met!. Keep on truckin’ Baby!

  30. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Thanks Stephanie!

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