Four changes to Illinois driving laws that affect you

At the start of this year, Illinois enacted nearly 200 new laws, impacting everything from contraception to community college. In case you missed it, here are four changes to Illinois driving laws that you should know about:

  1. Driving near emergency vehicles: Scott’s Law has been in place for years. Also known as the “move over” law, Scott’s Law states that drivers must change lanes or slow down when passing a stopped emergency vehicle. Starting this year, that law has expanded its purview to apply to any stopped vehicle with flashing hazard lights.
  2. Driving in a road work or school zone: If you’re driving through a construction zone or past a school, take heed of the speed limit. The penalties for speeding in these areas have surged. You can now face up to 180 days in jail and $1,500 in fines for speeding 26–35 mph over the speed limit. If you’re caught speeding more than 35 mph over the limit, the penalty is steeper still: as much as one year in jail plus $2,500 in fines.
  3. Driving without insurance: If you’ve been caught driving without insurance before, it would be wise to stay off the road until you’ve gotten yourself insured. Second-time offenders now risk having their cars impounded if they are caught twice within a 12-month period.
  4. Driving across railroad crossings: This year has also seen the amendment of the Illinois Vehicle Code, under which you’re now subject to pay doubled fines for driving around warning lights or barricades at railroad crossings. This change translates into $500 for the first offense and $1,000 thereafter.

The Illinois General Assembly offers complete information on all of the new laws enacted this year.