Think Twice Before Driving Through Illinois in 2017

Much of the this content came from an Illinois State Police release. I will quote it in this post so you can adjust your travel plans accordingly. This is _exactly_ why I and everybody else should be against states rights. If we as a nation want to encourage nationwide touring then the rules of the road need to be the same everywhere. I firmly believe several of these changes exist only to help balance the state’s budget. You can read more here.

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.

I’m not a lawyer and I do not speed through construction or school zones, even those scam construction zones which have nothing but signs up for months on end without any actual construction happening. In most places you see signs for this speeding being a really expensive ticket. I think I’ve seen signs with ticket prices around $1500. According to news radio reports I heard on this, if you fall into one of those 2 categories an officer is now required to book you. To me that means you are hauled in, finger printed, and possibly DNA sampled, then after processing you will have an opportunity to make bail, assuming you are just a lead foot and don’t have either DNA or fingerprints closely matching any in “the system.”

I do not know if there are any states left which do not require auto insurance, but if there are and you live in one you might wish to pay attention to this.

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.

One change which will most likely trip up many travelers is the following:

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.

While it is just being courteous to move over or slow down, the real tipping point here will be the open to interpretation phrase “slow down.” During rush hour traffic around Chicago with all lanes full, there really isn’t any way to move over and the announcement doesn’t appear to define what “slow down” really means. It is compounded by the fact there is a minimum speed requirement for the Interstate.

If you aren’t an Illinois resident you probably won’t be aware of these changes just like Illinois residents won’t be aware of the changes your states have put into 2017 law.

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