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New Ill. traffic laws in effect to start July

Measures include tougher penalties for injuries caused by texting and driving.
(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)(WIBW)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 11:57 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -

Two new traffic laws will take effect Wednesday, July 1. The laws establish tougher penalties for drivers who seriously injure others while texting and driving and for those who cause severe injury to pedestrians.

Secretary of State Jesse White and the Illinois Department of Transportation made the announcement.

The first law, Public Act 101-0090, amends the Illinois Vehicle Code by establishing a 12-month license suspension and minimum fine of $1,000 for a motorist who, while texting and driving, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another person, according to the announcement.

The second law, Public Act 101-0470 also referred to as Mason’s Law amends the IVC by establishing a 12-month license suspension for a motorist who, while violating the right-of-way at crosswalks and in school zones, causes serious injury to another person.

“These laws enhance the penalties for drivers who seriously injure others because of texting and driving,” White said. “Drivers who are negligent by texting and driving or disregarding pedestrians are putting others in grave danger. I urge drivers never to text while driving and to always be mindful of yielding to pedestrians.”

White also reminded drivers to be safe during the holiday weekend.

“Distracted driving and the safety of pedestrians remain among our biggest challenges to get the number of traffic deaths where it should be: Zero,” Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said. “I thank Gov. Pritzker for signing the bills. These laws will make drivers think twice about the life-and-death decisions they make behind the wheel.”

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