Several new pieces of legislation will become law tomorrow, the first day of the new year, including these state laws that will impact people driving in our part of the country:
1. Illinois will see a jump in the legal speed limit to 70 MPH on January 1, 2014, on all rural, 4-lane highways. (Before the change, the speed limit was 65 MPH.)
2. Illinois law in 2014 lowers the MPH over the legal speed limit where a driver on any Illinois roadway can be charged with “excessive speeding”. Starting tomorrow, you can be charged with excessive speeding if you’re driving 26 MPH over the legal speed limit (beforehand, it was 31 MPH over the legal limit).
3. Beginning tomorrow, Illinois will have a BAN on using a handheld cell phone while driving a motor vehicle on an Illinois roadway.
4. Penalties for those who are determined to have been using a device, like a smartphone, while driving and causing an accident or car crash as a result of the distraction, are going to be facing more severe penalties as of tomorrow.
5. It’s going to cost truckers more to drive through Indiana beginning tomorrow as a new motor carrier fuel use tax will be imposed on vehicles using liquefied or compressed natural gas, along with a use tax surcharge tax.
Finally, on this New Year’s Eve, let’s all remember that car accidents and traffic fatalities are a horrible and unexpected end to a night of fun festivities, so please be careful out there over the holiday!
From the National Safety Council, this infographic on alcohol impaired traffic fatalities: