Illinois’ “Scott’s Law” requires that when approaching a vehicle displaying flashing lights, a driver move over (if reasonably possible) or slow down. After several major accidents involving death and/or serious injury to State Troopers, they are fighting back with stepped-up enforcement of the law throughout the entire state.
The numbers are coming in, and they show that:
Eight times as many Scott’s Law violation citations have been written so far in 2019 when compared to last year, according to Illinois State Police.
From January 1, 2019 through November 3, 2019, there were 5,860 tickets written.
During the same period in 2018, 728 citations were handed out.
Read the entire story here: https://wqad.com/2019/11/04/illinois-state-police-see-major-spike-in-scotts-law-violation-citations/
From the Daily Herald:
Illinois’ law banning driving and texting is now five years old, and drivers caught violating it will face a stiffer penalty as of July 1.
Scofflaws who text, talk or use any hand-held devices behind the wheel will receive a ticket for a moving violation. Three moving violations in a 12-month period will lead to a license suspension…
To clarify, it’s also illegal to text or talk while holding a device at a stop sign, at a red light or while sitting in traffic.
What if I just take a second to do something with my phone?
Not OK, said Aurora police Sgt. Bill Rowley.
“In the amount of time it takes to simply look down and check a text — if your car is traveling 40 mph — it has already traveled half the length of a football field,” said Rowley, Aurora’s public information officer. That means “if a child runs out on the road, there’s no time to touch your brakes.”
Drivers can pull over on the shoulder, put the car in park and use their devices. Exceptions to the law include reporting an emergency, and if normal traffic is stopped because of an obstruction such as an accident or train — and the car is in park.
Read the entire story here at: https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20190617/starting-july-1-no-more-free-passes-for-texting-or-holding-your-phone-at-all-and-driving
From the Patch:
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and with it comes plenty of festivities. The Arlington Heights Police Department announced it will enforce activities centered on the St. Patrick’s Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign Friday, March 15. According to a release from the department, enforcement activities will include a safety checkpoint scheduled for that date on Rand Road at Beverly Lane.
This is certainly not the only extra DUI enforcement that will be going on this weekend. Please be safe and use a designated driver.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Pedestrian stops by Chicago police officers plummeted in number beginning in 2016 after a new state law and an agreement between the ACLU and the Police Department required officers to more thoroughly document and justify the encounters to ease concerns about racial profiling and constitutional violations…
But a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois says that at the same time pedestrian stops fell so sharply, Chicago police dramatically increased how often they pulled over motorists.
The number of traffic stops more than tripled, rising from 85,965 in 2015 to 187,133 in 2016, then jumping to 285,067 in 2017, the ACLU said.
The latest report also found that Chicago police stopped African-American motorists at a disproportionately higher rate than whites, Hispanics and Asians…
Multiple Chicago police officers who talked to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly said they believe many officers now prefer to pull drivers over rather than stop pedestrians. The documentation they must fill out for traffic stops is much simpler than the lengthy, detailed reports required for pedestrian stops as a result of the department’s agreement with the ACLU, they said.
Police have the authority to pull over drivers who commit traffic violations, but even if a ticket isn’t issued, officers are still required to document the motorist’s race and other identifiers. These so-called blue cards, though, take far less time to fill out than the reports for pedestrian stops, the officers said.
Read the entire article here: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-police-traffic-stops-20190111-story.html
A new law in Illinois enhances the punishment for texting behind the wheel.
Starting in July 2019, drivers caught using cell phones while driving will not only get fined, but it will count as a moving violation that could lead to license suspension.
The new law signed this week by Gov. Bruce Rauner now makes the first ticket for texting and driving a moving offense. That means it goes on the offender’s record and can lead to a suspension if they commit two other violations in the next year.
And from the Chicago Tribune:
The new law, which goes into effect next July, makes the penalty $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second, $125 for a third and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense. Under current law, drivers get a warning and no fine the first time.
Distracted driving has been cited as a factor in an increase in traffic deaths nationally over the last three years…
Another bill signed by the governor adds the “Dutch Reach” method of opening car doors to Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual and adds bike safety questions to the state driver’s license exam.
The Dutch Reach encourages drivers and passengers to use the hand farthest from the door to reach across the body to open the door after parallel parking. This prods people in motor vehicles to look back for cyclists and other traffic, and can help prevent sometimes-fatal “dooring” crashes, said the Active Transportation Alliance, a bike, pedestrian and transit user advocacy group. It is called the Dutch Reach because it is taught and used in the Netherlands.
lllinois Department of Transportation data shows dooring crashes on the rise across the state. In 2015, there were more than 300 reported in Chicago, a 50 percent increase from the previous year.