Several New Driving Laws that Became Effective in Illinois on January 1

More than 180 new laws took effect in Illinois at the start of 2023, including a number of traffic-related changes drivers might want to learn about.

From new penalties for certain violations to guidelines for those who are carjacked or have their vehicle stolen, changes are coming across the state.

According to Chicago personal injury attorney Lance D. Northcutt, one of the most significant changes is a shift in the wording of a number of traffic collision-related laws. This modification replaces “accident” with “crash.”

“As personal injury lawyers, we see far too many accidents caused by intoxicated or distracted driving. We strive to avoid the term “accident” when referring to situations that could have been avoided if the driver had exercised greater caution behind the wheel. Northcutt, an attorney with Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, said in a statement that it is reassuring to see lawmakers acknowledge that these incidents are preventable.

In addition to the language change, there are a number of other noteworthy new driving laws.

Here’s a look at laws that took effect Jan. 1, 2023 that drivers in the state should know:

As the number of carjackings in Illinois continues to rise, lawmakers passed a bill in the spring that makes it so “a person shall not be liable for violations, fees, fines, or penalties during the period in which the motor vehicle was reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency as stolen or hijacked.”

To be reimbursed for fees paid after the vehicle was reported stolen or hijacked, such as impounding fees, “the owner or the agents of the owner or lessee must submit proof that a report concerning the motor vehicle was filed with a law enforcement agency in a timely manner.”

However, reimbursement for towing and storage costs is limited to a maximum of $1,000.

This new law will add community service as a penalty for failing to stop for a school bus that is “receiving or discharging pupils and has displayed visual signals,” or for exceeding 20 miles per hour in a school zone or while traveling on a roadway on public school property or where children pass to get to school.

Under this new law, the Illinois Vehicle Code is amended to include the provision that a licensed physical therapist “can verify that a person is a person with disabilities.”

The course content and learning standards for driver’s education will be based on the national Novice Teen Driver Education and Training Administrative Standards. This will replace the current structure, which requires the State Board of Education to adopt standards for students under the age of 18 in consultation with the Secretary of State.

Now, the national teen driver education program will be modified to meet Illinois licensing and education requirements, “including classroom and behind-the-wheel hours and the cognitive, physiological, and psychological aspects of the safe operation of a motor vehicle and equipment of motor vehicles.” According to the bill, the Association of National Stakeholders in Traffic Safety Education, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, developed and drafted the guidelines.

Northcutt stated, “We hope the newly adopted national drivers ed standards will result in safer driving practices among young drivers and a reduction in motor vehicle accidents in the coming years.”

Complete Listing of New Illinois Laws
Click here for a complete list of laws that took effect in 2023.

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