New Illinois Traffic Laws For 2024

The Illinois legislature was very active in 2023 introducing eight (8) new traffic laws that became active in January of 2024. Below is a breakdown of each new bill:

  1. HB 2431: Videoconferencing while driving will now be prohibited.
  2. HB 2582: Motorcycle licenses will no longer be offered to residents under the age of 18, with specific exceptions.
  3. HB 3876: Residents of Illinois who buy vehicles in another state must apply for registration and certificate of title no less than 45 days after the purchase of the vehicle.
  4. SB 0896: Auxiliary lighting on motorcycles may not emit blue lights. Auxiliary lights may only emit red light if they are actively braking.
  5. SB 1251: Operators of ambulances or other rescue vehicles must have specified training in the operation of that vehicle. In municipalities with population of under one million residents, sirens and lamps must be in operation at all times when pedestrians and other drivers are present, and when that vehicle has been called to a bona fide emergency or has been directed to disregard traffic laws in the operation of the vehicle. The ambulance must also slow down at red lights to achieve safe operation.
  6. SB 1526: The Department of Transportation must develop a mobile app that provides motorists with updated travel conditions.
  7. SB 1653: The Department of Transportation and local authorities must institute a pilot program to erect and maintain hazard bars, or visual signs and additional signage, for all viaducts and underpasses with a clearance of less than 15 feet. Hazard bars must hang at the same clearance level as the viaduct or underpass, and be located at least 500 feet in front of them.
  8. SB 2028: Requires best practices on stranded motorists to be included in Illinois Rules of the Road publications.

I think the most important new law is HB 2431 which outlaws videoconferencing wile driving. This would include facetime, zoom, webex or any other type of face to face calls while driving. This is an incredibly dangerous activity and it should not have taken this long to be enacted. Let’s hope our local and state law enforcements aggressively enforce this new law and will lead to less Illinois car accidents.

If you or a loved one has been serously injured in a Chicago car crash or Illinois truck accident, then call Chicago injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Are Highway Guardrails Safe For EV’s?

A new study from the University of Nebraska concluded that nation’s guardrails are unable to handle electric vehicles (EV’s) which weigh thousands of pounds more than the average gas-powered sedan. The university’s “Midwest Roadside Safety Facility” conducted test crashes with an electric-powered pickup truck and a Tesla sedan by sending them into guardrails similar to those seen on U.S. roads and highways. The results of the tests found that our guardrails were not made to handle vehicles greater than 5,000 pounds. 

 The National Transportation Safety Board previously expressed concern last year about the safety risks that heavy electric vehicles pose if they collide with lighter vehicles gas powered vehicles. The safety board concluded that EV’s provide better protection for their occupants but can pose a more serious threat to those riding in gas powered vehicles due to the extreme weight discrepency. Electric vehicles typically weigh 20% to 50% more than gas-powered vehicles and have lower centers of gravity.

So the question that needs to be asked is what can be done to help prevent the potential dangers of EVs crashing into guardrails. The study recommends that there needs to be an “intensive collaboration”between auto makers and the U.S. government and safety boards to develop a plan to make the guardrails stronger and safer for all vehicles on the road. This seems like it would be a huge and very expensive undertaking to start replacing guardrails all over the country. I do not believe this was earmarked in the 2022 bipartisan infrastructure legislation. I think it would be a good idea for the Department of Transportation to look into what it would cost to replace or reinforce existing guardrails, especially in parts of the most dangerous (and steep) roads. I look forward to hearing what the Department of Transportation’s response to this study will be.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Illinois traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago Department Of Transportation To Implement Traffic Calming Insfrastructure

The Chicago Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) announced last week through press release that they are going to be installing what are called “traffic calming” infrastructure into various busy intersections around the city. Traffic calming infrasructure includes rubber speed bumps, vertical posts, and hardened centerlines at intersections that encourage drivers to take turns at safer speeds, prevent drivers from taking a diagonal path through the crosswalk, and improve drivers’ visibility of people crossing the street.

The intersections that will have these safety measures installed include:

  • N. Ashland Ave. & W. Wilson Ave.
  • N. Ashland Ave. & W. Sunnyside Ave.
  • N. Ashland Ave. & W. Montrose Ave.
  • N. Ashland Ave. & W. Cullom Ave.
  • W. Grand Ave. & N. Austin Ave.
  • W. Division Ave. & N. Rockwell St.
  • W. Chicago Ave. & N. Leavitt St.
  • W. Chicago Ave. & N. Oakley Ave.
  • W. Chicago Ave. & N. Paulina St.
  • W. 63rd St. & S. Kedzie Ave.
  • W. 63rd St. & S. California Ave.
  • W. 63rd St. & S. Western Ave.
  • W. 71st St. & S. Halsted St.
  • W. 71st St & S. Ashland Ave.
  • W. 71st St & S. Damen Ave.

I have written about Chicago’s traffic safety plans multiple times over the last several years. Previous mayor, Rahm Emanuel, introduced his “Vision Zero,” plan whose ultimate goal was to have zero pedestrian deaths within the next ten years. Mayor Lori Lightfood has stated that she planned to continue the Vision Zero mission. Despite all this planning and work, pedestrian deaths and traffic deaths have going up the last two years in Chicago and in Illinois. I think the traffic calming infrastructure is a step in the right direction to help slow down and hopefully eliminate pedestrian deaths in our city.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Chicago pedestrian accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago car crash lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois Traffic Deaths Up From This Time Last Year

Traffic levels are slowly edging back to pre-pandemic levels. Unfortunately, traffic deaths around the country and in Illinois have risen sharply as well. The Chicago Sun Times reported yestderday that there were 280 traffic fatalities during the first quarter of the year, a 24% jump from the same time in 2021.T There were 584 traffic fatalities through the first six months of 2022. That’s an 8% increase compared to the first half of 2021 and a 32% jump from 2020. The NHTSA won’t finalize counts until the end of the year.

According to the article and to the National Safety Council, U.S. roads appear to be more dangerous than they were prior to the pandemic. Many experts opined early on in the pandemic that the open roads were encouraged many drivers to exceed speed limits and drive more recklessly. Now that traffic levels are closer to normal, what could be causing all this erradic driving?

Experts have warned about speeding and drinking and driving, but I believe the focus needs to remain on distracted driving as well. Having your phone in your hand and looking away from the road for split second is all it takes sometimes. I highly encourage all drivers put their phones down when behind the wheel and focus on the road.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago accident attorneys at the Bryant Law Group, LLC, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Hyundai And Kia SUVs Recalled For Potential Fire Hazard

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) announced last week the recall of 245,030 Model Year 2020-2022 Hyundai Palisade vehicles and  36,417 Model Year 2020-2022 Kia Telluride vehicles regarding a potential fire hazard due to a component added by some dealerships.

An accessory tow hitch sold through dealerships may allow moisture into the harness module, causing a short circuit. In some cases, an electrical short can cause a vehicle fire while driving or while parked and turned off.

Luckily, to date, there have been no report of fires, injuries or deaths. The NHTSA is also recommending all of these vehicles be parked outside and away from homes until they can be properly repaired.

As an interim repair, Hyundai dealers will inspect the tow hitch module and remove the fuse, as necessary. An interim repair is not available for Kia vehicles.

The recall repair is under development. When a repair is available, all owners of vehicles potentially equipped with affected trailer hitch wiring harnesses will be notified by mail with instructions to bring their vehicles to a Hyundai or Kia dealer. 

If you own one of these vehicles, it’s important to follow the NHTSA instructions and to notify a Hyundia or Kian dealer as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injury in a Chicago product defect case or Chicago car crash, then call the personal injury attorneys at the Bryant Law Group, LLC for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

NHTSA Issues School Bus Safety Tips

The school year has started for a majority of school districts around the country. The Chicago Public Schools started back today. There will be thousands of school buses on the roads, shuttling kids to an from their schools. With the increased amount of people on the roads this time of year, it is important to consider the safety issues that go along with so many children being on or close to busy roadways.

(“NHTSA”) listed several safety tips on their website for parents and for drivers to consider regarding school buses.

For drivers:

Safety Starts at the Bus Stop

Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop and show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.

Get On and Off Safely

When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.

Use Caution Around the Bus

Your child should never walk behind a school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. If your child drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick up the item, because the driver might not be able to see him/her.

For Drivers:

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
  • Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state, as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
    • Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
    • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

I think it’s important for parents to have long talks with their children about these safety issues, especially if their unable to accompany their kids on and off the buses each day. It could prevent a serious injuries and potentially save a life.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago bus accident or Chicago CTA accident, then call the Chicago personal injury attorneys at The Bryant Law Group, LLC., for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Returns To Illinois For Labor Day Weekend

Multiple police departments and county sheriff’s offices will be implementing the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled” campaign to curb drunk driving over Labor Day weekend. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign runs from Aug. 19 through the early morning hours of Sept. 6. During this period, law enforcement will be stepping up efforts focused on impaired, unbuckled and distracted drivers.

The Lake County sheriff’s department recommended the following tips for drivers who may be out and about or headed to parties over the next couple weekends:

•Before the party starts, remember to designate a sober driver, and don’t let friends or family members drive impaired. Other important tips include:

• If you’re hosting, make sure all your guests designate a sober driver in advance or arrange ride-sharing or another sober ride home. Also serve lots of food and include nonalcoholic beverages at the party.

• If you do not have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab, or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.

• Don’t let friends leave your sight if you think they are about to drive impaired.

• Always buckle up – it is your best defense in a crash.

I think this is an important safety campaign, but I would like to see resources and messaging go towards prevention of distracted driving and phone use while driving. Regardless, be careful if you will be out on the roads over the upcoming holiday weekend.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call the Chicago personal injury attorneys at the Bryant Law Group for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

U.S. Traffic Deaths Continue to Rise In 2022

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), 9,650 people died in motor vehicle accidents in the first 3 months of this year. This is a 7% increase over the year before. It is also the highest first quarter since 2002.

No doubt the ending of covid restrictions has contributed to these rising numbers as more people are out on the roads. People drove about 40 billion more miles in the first quarter than a year earlier, a 5.6% increase, the NHTSA said. But the rate of traffic deaths per 100 million miles traveled also increased during the quarter from 1.25 deaths to 1.27, according to the agency.

The question is why do these numbers continue to increase, and how do we help reduce these numbers. According to the NHTSA, a significant protion of the $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill will be dedicated to making the roads safer and accident prevention.

started running ads urging people to slow down and not to drive while impaired. On Wednesday, it announced the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign for Labor Day weekend, which focuses on preventing impaired driving and improving safety on the roads with local police for the weeks around the end-of-summer holiday.

The NHTSA has also launched a public education campaign to address speeding, which is called “one of America’s most dangerous driving behaviors.” The “Speeding Wrecks Lives” campaign, which aims to change general attitudes toward speeding and remind drivers of the deadly consequences.

I’m a little dubious of these Ad campaigns as they have been running these for years, yet the numbers continue to increase. I would like to see more resources and focus on distracted driving as well as impaired driving. Let’s hope the investment from the infrastructure bill works as we need to see these numbers turn around.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call the Chicago personal injury lawyers at the Bryant Law Group for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Popular Baby Swings and Rockers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced this week that 4moms, the manufacter of multiple baby rockers and swings have been recalled after a recent baby death. The 4moms s MamaRoo Baby Swing — versions 1.0 through 4.0 — and RockaRoo Baby Rockers have all been recalled.

“When the swing or rocker is not in use, their restraint straps can dangle below the seat and non-occupant crawling infants can become entangled in the straps, posing a strangulation hazard,” The CPSC stated.

4moms hads this today about the recent recall: “4moms has received two reports of entanglement incidents involving infants who became caught in the strap under the unoccupied MamaRoo infant swing after they crawled under the seat, including a 10-month-old infant who died from asphyxiation, and a 10-month-old infant who suffered bruising to his neck before being rescued by a caregiver,” a statement from the CPSC and 4moms indicated. “No incidents involving the RockaRoo have been reported.”

Both 4moms and the CPSC recommended that owners of these swings immediately stop using them.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago personal injury accident or believe you have an Illinois products liability claim, please call the Chicago injury lawyers at the Bryant Law Group, LLC at 312-614-1076 for a free legal consultation.

Illinois Governor Announces $36.4 Billion Investment In Transportation Infrastructure

Illinois Governer JB Pritzker announced at a press conference today that over $36 billion will be dedication to the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”). The funding comes from the bipartison federal infrastructure bill that based the U.S. House and Senate last year.

Pritzker is named this infrastructure plan “Rebuild Illinois The money will be used for highway reconstruction and bridge improvements, along with safety and system modernizations.

Below is a general breakdown where the money will be going:

  • $25.4 billion for Illinois’ roads and bridges.
  • $1.4 billion for major rail projects and added Grade Crossing Protection projects.
  • $150 million for aeronautic facility improvements.
  • $150 million in new funding for port improvements.

This is an incredible investment into our state that will hopefully make the roads safer, efficient and will also create thousands of new jobs. The one thing I would have like to hear more about is how any of this money will be used to help free up traffic in and around Chicago. I believe that is the plan, but I would have appreciated more specifics.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured a Chicago car crash or Chicago car accident, please call the The Bryant Law Group for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.