IDOT supports new traffic safety laws


DECATUR -- According to Illinois Dept. of Transportation, there are over 300,000 crashes in Illinois each year, but some new laws are now aiming to keep the streets safe.

So here's what you need to know before getting behind the wheel:

Stay off cell phones in work zones. Before now the speed limits in work zones had to be lower to get a ticket. But now motorists can get one, even if the normal speed doesn't change.

Drivers can still use phones on voice operation mode, like with a headset or phones with a single-button touch.

The next law counts for commercial motor vehicles like semis. Commercial drivers must stay off the phone at all times. The prior law only prohibited these drivers from texting.

IDOT's state safety engineer Priscilla Tobias said it helps clear up some of the older, more confusing laws.

"We feel like they'll provide more clarity for the motorist," said Tobias. "So they know there is less fuzzy area as far as when you should or should not be on your cell phone."

The last law clears up any vagueness for when an accident does happen. It outlines safe places to pull over, such as exit ramp shoulders, access roads or any location that won't obstruct traffic.

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