Personal injury attorneys alert drivers to new Illinois traffic laws going into effect in 2023

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Lawmakers aim to deter drivers from school zone speeding, adopt national standards for Drivers Ed

As we head into a new year, the personal injury law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is once again alerting drivers to the new Illinois traffic laws that will most impact motorists, pedestrians, and passengers when they take effect on January 1:

  • Financial relief for carjacking victims (HB3772): After more than 1,300 carjackings were reported in the Chicago area in 2022, lawmakers have ruled that carjacking victims will not be liable for violations or fees involving their stolen vehicles during the time in which the vehicle was reported stolen to law enforcement. Victims who wish to be reimbursed for these fees after a carjacking will be required to submit proof that the vehicle was reported stolen in a timely matter.
  • Driver education standards (HB04716): Student drivers in 2023 and beyond will be introduced to course content and learning standards for both the classroom and driving phases of drivers ed based on the “National Novice Teen Driver Education and Training Administrative Standards,” rather than requiring the State Board and Secretary of State to adopt course content standards for student drivers under the age of 18. The courses will then be adapted to meet Illinois licensing and educational requirements, including the cognitive, physiological, and psychological aspects of safe driving.
  • School zone safety (SB03793): If you speed in a school zone in the new year, you can expect to face additional penalties. In addition to the fines associated with failing to stop for a school bus that is receiving or discharging pupils and/or driving at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour while passing a school zone, the offender will be required to do community service in an amount set by the court.
  • Physical therapists can now verify a person’s status (SB03216): Beginning in 2023, a licensed physical therapist can verify whether a person is disabled for the purposes of the Illinois Vehicle Code. Previously the state only recognized the determination if made by a doctor, nurse, or physician’s assistant.
  • Effective communication with officers (HB04825): In 2023, applications for vehicle registration must provide space for an applicant to voluntarily indicate if they or another approved driver of the vehicle has a health condition or disability that could impede effective communication with a peace officer. The Secretary of State will then have the right to request a written statement confirming the condition from a physician, psychologist, or mental health professional. (July 1)

Additionally, the state of Illinois has amended a number of Public Acts related to traffic collisions by replacing the term "accident” with "crash.” The modification implies that not all crashes are accidental, and many collisions are caused by negligence, willful and wanton conduct, or an intentional act.

“As a personal injury attorney, we see far too many crashes caused by drunk or distracted driving. We often make an effort here at the firm to not use the word ‘accident’ in these types of situations that would have been avoidable had a driver taken proper care behind the wheel. It is encouraging to see lawmakers acknowledging that these incidents are preventable,” Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard attorney Lance D. Northcutt said. “We hope the newly adopted national drivers ed standards will lead to safer driving practices among young drivers and we will see a decrease in motor vehicle crashes in the coming years.”

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard attorney Lance D. Northcutt is available to discuss the above new laws in more detail. Please contact Marcie Mangan at (312) 372-1227 or mmangan@salvilaw.com to schedule an interview.

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