Host of New Laws Set to Take Effect Jan 1, 2014

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Published on December 20 2013 5:20 pm
Written by Wayne Moran

As is typical with the start of the new year, new laws are set to take effect. In Illinois, there's more than a few. You've probably already heard about House Bill 1247, that "prohibits using cell phones for any purpose while driving", with the exceptions of GPS systems and hands‐free devices. It's the bill that's got everyone hunting for a hands-free option in the car. But there's more new laws to hit the books in Illinois...a LOT more.

For example, if you're turning 18 before the General Election in November, you'll be able to vote in the Primary Election in March. While we're talking about those under 18, there's another new law for you, House Bill 188 says "a tanning facility may not permit any person less than 18 years of age, regardless of whether the person has the permission of a parent or guardian", due to the increased risk of cancer.

Another new law makes littering illegal in Illinois (House Bill 3081), and punishable with a minimum fine of $50. You'll also want to re-consider tossing that cigarette butt on the ground, as they'll now be considered litter thanks to House Bill 3243.

If you're tired of driving 65, House Bill 2356 raises the speed limit to 70mph on certain highways throughout the state; Some counties in Chicago and St. Louis will be allowed to establish lower speed limits. While we're on the subject of transportation, House Bill 1814 splits 'speeding in a work zone' into two offenses; when workers are present and when they're not. Fines in zones where workers are not present will be lower.

Senate Bill 923 gives school districts the right to equip their busses with cameras to catch drivers illegally passing a stopped bus, and allows them to share that video with police.

There's many more new laws set to take effect. See the full list here.