There are two new laws that will go into effect January 1st that will have the most impact on drivers in Illinois...a higher interstate speed limit and restrictions on using cell phones while behind the wheel. Starting January 1st, drivers will be allowed to go 70-miles-per-hour on most rural interstates. Madison and St. Clair County, and the Chicago area counties, may opt to keep the 55 mile per hour limit on heavily congested areas.
Another new law puts restrictions on using a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel and requires drivers to use a voice-activated device or headset while on the phone. The fine for the first cell phone offense is 75 dollars, $100 for the second offense, $125 for a third offense and $150 for a fourth offense. Law enforcement officers or first responders, drivers reporting emergencies and drivers using electronic devices while parked on the shoulder of the roadway are exempt.