January 1, 2010 brought a number of new laws in Illinois. Below are summaries of those that may be of interest to you. Illinois Text Messaging Ban
(P.A. 096-0130) A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message. “Electronic message” includes, but is not limited to electronic mail, a text message, an instant message, or a command or request to access an Internet site. There are exceptions, however, including emergencies, public safety officials and “A driver using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-activated mode.” The ban does not include global positioning systems (GPS) or navigation systems.
No Cell Phones in a School or Construction Zone
(P.A. 096-0131) A person, regardless of age, may not use a wireless telephone at any time while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway in a school speed zone, or on a highway in a construction or maintenance speed zone.
School Bus Driver Communication Devices
(P.A. 96-818) A school bus driver may not operate a school bus while using a cellular radio telecommunication device. There are exceptions for use in emergency situations.
Increased Speed Limit for Truck Drivers
(HB 0980) Semi trucks can go 65 mph on rural interstates, outside of Chicago and the five collar counties.
Minimum Age for Misdemeanor Prosecutions increased from 17 to 18
(SB2275, as amended) Persons under 18 years of age who commit misdemeanor offenses will have their cases filed and heard in juvenile court rather than adult criminal court.
Increased Fees for car registration, license plate stickers, hunting and fishing licenses will raise money for new roads and bridges.
February 5 named Adlai Stevenson Day in Illinois (not a work holiday).
American Flags flying on public property, such as outside government buildings, will have to be made in America (when old flags are replaced with new ones).