Our truck accident lawyers learned that as of January 1st, three new pieces of Illinois legislation attempt to make our roads safer by prohibiting cell phone use for truckers, prohibiting cell phone use in construction zones, and allowing motorists involved in crashes to more easily move their cars to safety reports truckinginfo.com. Prior to this new legislation, Illinois law prohibited texting while driving for all vehicles, but cell phones were permitted. Three new pieces of legislation supported by the Illinois Department of Transportation have now changed this old law. House Bill 5101 prohibits texting or using hand held cell phones while driving a truck.
Senate Bill 2488 prohibits cell phone use in construction or maintenance speed zones regardless of the speed limit. Truckers are still allowed to use cell phones in hands free mode, which includes the use of a headset or cell phones that can be used with single button activation. Before the new laws, the speed limit in a construction zone had to be lower than the posted speed limit and voice-activated cell phone use was permitted. That is no longer the case because of Senate Bill 2488. The Illinois Transportation Secretary stated that, “people are tragically injured and killed in work zones and by commercial motor vehicles due to distracted driving. Cell phone distractions have been proven to be as dangerous as drinking and driving.”
Finally, Senate Bill 3409 permits the driver of a car involved in an accident that causes damage to the car to move the car off the highway to the nearest safe location. The locations available to the driver are the exit ramp shoulder, a frontage road, the nearest suitable cross street, or other locations that will not obstruct traffic. The previous law involving moving a car after a crash required motorists to move their cars without obstruction traffic. This new law makes it easier and safer for people involved in car accidents to move their cars to safety without violating any laws. The Illinois Transportation Secretary explained that this law was necessary because “[t]he decisions made immediately following a crash are critical. This law will reduce the chances of further injury and secondary crashes by allowing able vehicles to clear the roadway following a crash.”
Our lawyers are experienced in representing victims of truck accidents located throughout the state who have suffered serious personal injuries, property damage or the loss of a family member in a truck accident. Such accidents commonly involve distracted, intoxicated or sleep-deprived truck drivers, overloaded or unsafe trucks, hit-and-run accidents, rear-end collisions, and rollovers. Our attorneys applaud the new laws passed by the Illinois legislature and hope that they will aid in the reduction of accidents caused by distracted truck drivers on our roadways. We know that injuries suffered as a result of these types of accidents can be severe and life altering due to the sheer size of many semi-trucks. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident involving the negligence of a truck driver, please contact our offices for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.