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Illinois Gets Three New Driving Laws
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On Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed three new road safety laws. Two of the laws are focused on teenagers.

The first law, popularly called “Patricia’s Law” prohibits judges from granting supervision to any person who has a previous conviction, or was previously under court supervision for any serious traffic related accident, if the same person is charged in a fatal accident. The law will go into effect from Jan 1.

  
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The driver who killed Patricia McNamara, whose case inspired the law, just received a fine and court supervision though he was driving while distracted. He had prior speeding convictions.

The case drew public attention to a loophole in the law that allowed drivers to maintain a record free of convictions, even in fatal cases, if they receive and complete court supervision.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said referring to the light punishment of the driver in the McNamara case, “That’s the wrong way to approach the way we deal with individuals who have killed someone on our roads.”

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The second law that was signed allows the authorities to deny a driver’s license to a person who is 18 years or younger, and has unresolved traffic tickets. This law was inspired by the case of Kelsey Little, who was hit and seriously injured by a teen driving without a license or a learner’s permit. Three days after the accident, the teenage driver received a full driver’s license despite the unresolved traffic violation. The new law closes this loophole.

The third law on driving is good for the public and a boon for driving schools. This law requires anyone between the ages of 18 to 21 to take complete an adult driver’s education course before receiving a driver’s license, if he or she did not take a driver’s education course in high school.





 

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