Laws that are New in 2017
Unattended Running Vehicles: As of August 25, 2017, no person is allowed to leave a running vehicle unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any perceptible grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway. This does not apply to law enforcement or authorized emergency vehicles. This also does not apply when the vehicle has been started by a remote starter system.
Railroad Crossings: A driver of a vehicle that approaches a railroad grade crossing under circumstances in which a stop is required and does not stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail, commits a petty offense for which a $500 fine (previously $250) shall be imposed for the first violation and a $1,000 fine (previously $500) shall be imposed for any subsequent violations.
Disabled Vehicles: As of January 1, 2017: A driver of a vehicle approaching a disabled vehicle with lighted hazard lights on a highway of at least 4 lanes, of which at least 2 are proceeding in the same direction, shall, proceeding with due caution, make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the disabled vehicle or, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe, reduce the speed of the vehicle and maintain a safe speed for the road conditions.
School Buses: Vehicles are now also required to stop before meeting or overtaking a school bus located on school property (rather than just on public roadways). The only time a vehicle is not required to stop for a school bus is when both vehicles are on a four lane roadway and the bus is stopped in the opposite direction from which a driver is traveling. Any other time, a driver must stop before meeting or overtaking (passing) a school bus that is stopped and loading or unloading passengers.
A warning will be given by the school bus at least 100 feet (200 feet in rural areas) in advance of a stop. The bus driver will flash lights on the front and rear of the bus. The school bus stop signal arm will be extended after the school bus has come to a complete stop. A driver approaching a school bus from the opposite direction must come to a complete stop and remain stopped until the stop signal arm is no longer extended and the flashing lights are turned off or the school bus driver signals vehicles to pass.
A conviction for passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights and the stop arm extended will result in the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license. If the owner(s) of the vehicle were not driving when the offense occurred, they must provide the State’s Attorney’s Office with the name of the person driving the vehicle or their vehicle registration will be suspended for three months.
Everyday Laws that May Affect You
Distracted Driving Law - Drivers may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device, such as a hand-held wireless telephone, hand-held personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer. Some of the exemptions to the law include:
• using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-operated mode, which may include the use of a headset
• using an electronic communication device to report an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel during the emergency situation
• using an electronic communication device when the vehicle is stopped due to the normal traffic being obstructed and the driver has the motor transmission in neutral or park
• using an electronic communication device when the vehicle is parked on the shoulder of a roadway
Cell Phones in School & Construction Zones - Since 2010, cell phone use is prohibited in school zones while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway. Cell phone use is also prohibited while driving on a highway in a construction zone.
Litter Control Act – As of January 1, 2014. Cigarettes are now defined as litter and individuals are prohibited from discarding cigarette butts in any public place or from a motor vehicle.
“Share the Road” Bicycle Safety Laws - It is a Class A Misdemeanor for a driver of a motor vehicle to “crowd” or threaten a bicyclist by unnecessarily driving a motor vehicle close to, toward, or near a bicyclist if the violation does not result in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another. It is also now a Class A Misdemeanor when a person projects or throws any object or substance at or against a bicyclist.
Teen Driving Laws - Graduated Driver Licensing
ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE – RULES OF THE ROAD/TRAFFIC SAFETY PUBLICATIONS & FORMS: