Last week, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White held his Advisory Committee on Traffic Safety meeting in Springfield, which revealed several new laws that could be proposed in 2012. The Daily Herald reported that Secretary White discussed some interesting new laws that could be crossing the governor’s desk by the end of the year. Below are some of the proposed laws:
• Requiring helmets for motorcycle riders and passengers.
Banning drivers from using hand-held cellphones.
Tightening the penalties for misuse of disabled parking placards and licenses.
Eliminating a loophole allowing 18-year-olds to obtain a license without any
formal driver’s ed classes.
Upping the age teens can apply for learners’ permits from 15 to 16 and
strengthening nighttime restrictions.
Cracking down on repeat offenders caught driving without insurance and driving
on a suspended license.
I think it will be impossible to pass a complete cell phone ban. Distracted driving has become a huge epidemic in Illinois and throughout the country as it has been proven to be a major cause of car crashes in the law few years. As I have suggested before on this blog, I think one way to curb distracted driving car accidents is to stiffen the penalties against drivers who cause free interratial porn videos while using their cell phones. One possibility is increasing the penalties to the same level as a drunk driving accident. It takes time for drivers to adapt to new laws (i.e. seat belt laws) before they begin to change their driving habits. If drivers know they could face stiffer penalties if they text and then cause an accident, it may persuade people to put their phones down when driving.
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It took quite a while, but winter weather has finally hit Chicago and most of the Midwest. Six inches of snow hit the ground last week, quickly melted away, and another batch fell yesterday and last night. Driving in the snow and ice can be treacherous and – – if not careful – – can lead to a serious car accident. The Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) website provided a comprehensive checklist for drivers to be aware of when driving through ice and snow. Below is the list of tips.
· In RAIN, FOG, SNOW
or SLEET, do not overdrive your headlights.
· Stay within the
limits of your vision.
· Keep your windows
clear of snow and ice. Do not start until your windshield is defrosted.
· Drive slower and
increase your following distance. Your speed should be adjusted for the
conditions and match the flow of traffic.
· Roadway conditions
may vary depending on the sun, shade or roadway surface. Watch for slick spots
especially under bridges, on overpasses and in shaded spots. Be prepared to
react physically and mentally.
· If the pavement is
snow or ice covered, start slowly and brake gently. Begin braking early when you
come to an intersection.
· If you start to
slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid
until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle.
· When you approach a
snow plow from behind, pass with care and only when you can see the road
ahead of the plow. You should not try to pass in blowing snow. There may be a
vehicle in that cloud of snow! Allow more distance between you and the plow,
they may be spreading salt.
· Be alert when you
approach a cloud of snow which covers the road, especially on passing lanes of
interstates or freeways. Slow down and approach with caution. A snow plow may
be at work clearing the lane or preparing to turn around.
· Be careful after a
minor rear end accident. If you are bumped from behind and you do not feel
comfortable exiting your vehicle, motion the other driver and drive to the
nearest police station, 24-hour store, service.
Most important, always remember to buckle up, even if you are in the back seat as Illinois now requires all passenger to wear their seat belts.
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The UK Telegraph reported
this week that recent studies performed by Cardiff University and the Young
Marmalade insurance company showed that driving with a cold or flu can be just
as hazardous as drinking alcohol and
A small scale trial was performed
which showed that drivers that had a cold or the flu had much slower reaction times and breaking
became much more frequent. It needs to be pointed out that neither Young Marmalade or
Cardiff University provided any statistics or numbers that resulted from
their study. Also, apparently the slower reaction times were not a result of
cold medicine but rather a lack of sleep, which made sick drivers less
The findings back up
work done by Cardiff University Common Cold Unit which showed that those with
colds and flu suffered from poor reaction times and alertness and were a third
more likely to hit the roadside curb.
Driving Expert Mark Dolphin said: “We want our customers to stay safe. You
shouldn’t drive if you are not feeling well. The best place to be when you have
flu or a heavy cold is at home, but if you really must go out, get someone else
to take you and avoid driving.
This is an interesting
study that I think has some merit, but I think I would like to see more
concrete statistics and a more widespread study that tests a larger control
If you or someone you
know has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.
A somewhat controversial traffic law that passed the Illinois legislator over the summer came into effect on January 1, 2012. The new law requires all back seat passengers wear a seat belt. The new law gives police officers the ability to pull a vehicle over if they view the any passenger not wearing their seat belt.
Illinois became the 26th state to require back seat passengers wear their seat belts. Despite many complaints that this law is overly intrusive, lawmakers believe this will help save lives. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has concluded that using shoulder belts in the back seat reduces the risk of a injuries like neck or back resulting in the need for spine pain treatment during a car crash by 44% in cars and 73% in vans and SUVs. Unbelted passengers also put others in the car in danger during an auto accident and increase the other passengers’ rate of injury or death by 40%.
There have also been studies that a belted passenger in the back seat will prevent that passenger for being forced forward and injuring the front seat passengers.
The initial fine for this law is $25.