CHAMPAIGN — With more than 200 new laws set to take effect on Jan. 1, State Representative Adam Brown (R-Champaign) is urging Illinois residents to familiarize themselves with the new statutes that aim at increasing public safety, adding new driving restrictions and protecting the health and safety of children.
“Beginning January 1st, Illinois residents will not only see an increase in the speed limit on our interstates, they’ll also no long be able to use handheld cell phones while driving,” said Brown. “In addition, we will see an increase in assistance for veterans earning a college degree, as well as enhanced safeguards for victims.”
Below are highlights of new laws that take effect at the start of 2014. To see a complete list of all 218 new laws taking effect on January 1st, please visit www.ilga.gov.
n Cell Phone Driving Ban – Bans the use of cell phones while driving. Exemptions from the ban include the use of hands-free devices and two-way radios. (HB 1247, PA 98-506)
n Speed Limit of 70 MPH — Raises the speed limit on rural Illinois interstates to 70 miles per hour. The bill excludes certain urban and suburban counties from the higher speed limit. (SB 2356, PA 98-511)
n Tanning Bed Ban for Minors under 18 — Bans tanning facilities from permitting any person under the age of 18 from using tanning booths or beds. Specifies that parental permission does not exempt the person under 18 from the ban. (HB 188, PA 98-349)
n Voting Rights — Allows a person who is 17 on the date of the primary election to vote if that person will be 18 on the date of the general election. (HB 226, PA 98-360)
n Ban of E-Cigarettes to Minors — Prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The bill requires sellers to verify that a buyer is over 18. (SB 1756, PA 98-350)
n Vandalism of Veterans’ Grave Sites — Enhances penalties for vandalism of graves or memorials honoring an individual or group of police officers, firefighters, members of the U.S. armed forces, National Guard, or veterans. (SB 2231, PA 98315)