ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The new year brings new laws, and the Illinois State Police would like to highlight a few that become effective January 1, 2017.
- In an effort to protect first responders, Scott’s Law, the “Move Over” law, requires that motorists slow down or change lanes when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with emergency lights activated. Beginning in 2017 this law will also apply to any vehicle on the side of the road with hazard lights activated. If you see flashing lights ahead, please move over or slow down.
- When entering a work or school zone, you need to eliminate distractions and make sure you are driving at the posted speed limit. If you decide to speed through a work or school zone after the first of the year, you may end up in jail. Speeding 26 miles per hour or more, but less than 35 miles per hour, is now a Class B misdemeanor, and 35 miles per hour or more in excess of the posted work or school zone speed limit is now a Class A misdemeanor. This law became effective January 1, 2016, and is being emphasized now for greater public awareness.
- If you have been convicted of driving without insurance and you still choose to drive without insurance, your vehicle could be impounded the next time you’re stopped by the police. The law now requires officers to tow your vehicle if you have been convicted of driving without insurance within the prior 12 months and you are receiving another citation for driving without insurance.
Some other laws include:
Illinois State Police can deny a Firearm Owners Identification Card to anyone who has an order of protection filed against them or a not contact order regarding stalking.
Also, if a current gun owner is served with one of these orders, he or she would have to surrender their guns and identification cards.
New measures to improve response to sexual assault crimes will also go into effect.
Lawmakers hope the new legislation encourages more sex assault victims to come forward.
We talked to The Women's Center in southern Illinois about the importance of this new law.
"It's always good to be improving laws and adding new ones that protect women," said Cathy McClanahan, executive director of The Women's Center. "As we know, one in five women are victims of domestic violence in their lifetime, and one in seven women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime, so it's likely that all of us know someone that is."
Some key points include:
- Law enforcement agencies and 911 call center employees will be required to take part in victim-assistance training
- Law enforcement officers will be required to complete reports of every sexual assault, regardless of who reports the crime and where it occurs
- The time period for victims to consent to testing of their evidence will be extended from 14 days to five years after the assault
New laws to improve accessibility for those with disabilities will also go into effect in the new year.
The legislation, initiated by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office, updates the Illinois Environmental Barriers Act.
It now requires public buildings and multi-story housing units to comply with the Federal American Disabilities Act's standards.
Lastly, changes involving bicyclists on the road.
Starting on Jan. 1, every driver of a vehicle on a highway must yield the right-of-way to anyone riding a bicycle.
For a complete list of all the new Public Acts, please go to the Illinois General Assembly web site here.