Tougher Fines for Phone Use and the Introduction of the Dutch Reach for Illinois Drivers

Illinois gets to new pieces of legislation aimed at slowing the rise in pedestrian deaths and other commuter injuries.
August 26, 2018, 7am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Madeleine Deaton

Distracted drivers are part of the reason for the growing number of pedestrian deaths in the United States, but in Illinois, drivers were generally given a warning for talking on the phone on the road. This month, Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation to change that. "The new law, which goes into effect next July, makes the penalty $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second, $125 for a third and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense," Mary Wisniewski reports in the Chicago Tribune. Whether or not this legislation is effective may depend on enforcement, which has dropped off almost entirely in the city of Chicago.

Another bill will add the "Dutch Reach" to the Illinois Rules of the Roaddriving manual. This technique involves drivers, and passengers on the driver's side of a car using the hand furthest from the door to open it, so that they don't open a door into traffic causing an accident, or striking a bike rider. "Illinois Department of Transportation data shows dooring crashes on the rise across the state. In 2015, there were more than 300 reported in Chicago, a 50 percent increase from the previous year," Wisniewski reports.

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Published on Friday, August 17, 2018 in Chicago Tribune
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