Illinois residents will soon feel the impact of several new laws taking effect in 2016, including those pertaining to road and public safety. In preparation for the New Year we’ve put together a “Greatest Hits” list for you to peruse before the holidays.
On the road again (with restrictions)
One of Illinois’ new laws deals with a topic we’ve covered here on the blog before, stirring a bit of controversy amongst our fellow attorneys. Starting January 1, repeat DUI offenders will soon have an opportunity to obtain a restricted driving permit after meeting certain conditions determined by the state. Under the new law, a person with as many as four DUI convictions will be eligible to apply for a permit after demonstrating their sobriety and practical needs for a vehicle. Multiple DUI convictions have damaging effects on people’s driving records, which, unfortunately, has forced many drivers with revoked licenses to get behind the wheel of a car illegally. This new law aims to curb that trend. Additionally, a law from Senator Jason Barickman’s office would also require individuals convicted of two or more DUIs or reckless homicide convictions to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device as a condition of a Restricted Driving Permit.
Slowing it down
Senator Pat McGuire introduced a bill that will require drivers to slow down when approaching waste service vehicles like recycling trucks, an issue that intends to improve the safety conditions of workers on the job. The new law “Provides for the circumstances in which the 15 mile per hour speed limitation on passing waste service vehicles shall apply,” also known as the “slow down” law. Offenders could be forced to pay upwards of $1,000 in fines, or even face jail time.
Immunity for minors (sort of)
After a few years in limbo, the governor has signed a previously introduced bill that grants amnesty to minors who call 911 for help, as in cases of alcohol poisoning, for example. Based on the language of the bill, police would have the authority to determine whether protection from legal discipline is appropriate. The plan is modeled after a similar one addressing heroin overdoses, with at least two-dozen other states that have implemented similar laws in recent years.
Below are some other new laws that relate to life on the road:
Public Act 099-0290: The License Plate Visibility Exemption: allows for trucks with rear-attached forklifts to be exempt from the requirement that their license plate be clearly visible.
Public Act 099-0237: Reduced Weight Limit on Roads: Highway commissioners may permanently post roads at a reduced weight limit after holding a public forum regarding reasons for and against imposing the limit. County superintendents of highways then have the final deciding power in the matter after the public forum.
Public Act 099-0376: School Bus Industry Requirements: Provides that a private carrier employer of school bus drivers shall be held to a standard of ordinary care for intentional acts committed in the course of employment by a bus driver permit holder.
Public Act 099-0291: Trucking Violations: Provides that any driver who willfully violates specified motor carrier safety regulations including driving under the influence; motor carrier drivers’ hours of service; motor carrier qualifications for drivers; or other violations which would place the driver or vehicle out of service is guilty of a Class 3 felony when the violation results in a motor vehicle accident that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, or death to another person.