With the new year comes a multitude of new laws that Illinois residents should be aware of.
While the legalization of recreational marijuana might be the most high-profile law change, a number of other new laws go into effect that concern the rules of the road, according to a news release.
Illinois joined 10 other states and the District of Columbia to allow for the sale and use of recreational marijuana.
Residents age 21 and older can buy and possess up to 30 grams of marijuana or five grams of concentrate from a licensed dispensary. Locally, dispensaries in Joliet and Romeoville obtained licenses to sell marijuana.
Public consumption and driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal.
The number of state troopers killed and injured on Illinois roads last year prompted the state Legislature to increase fines for violating Scott’s Law, also known as the “move over law.”
The minimum fine has increased from $100 to $250 for the first violation and is now $750 for the second violation.
Those who violate Scott’s Law and cause an injury or death will be charged with a Class 4 felony. The Scott’s Law Fund will be created to educate motorists on the importance of the law.
The secretary of state will be required to include at least one question about Scott’s Law on the written driving test.
Increased traffic fines
Illinois motorists who commit other violations also will have to pay more in 2020.
The fine for passing a stopped school bus that has its stop arm displayed increased from $150 to $300 for the first offense and from $500 to $1,000 for a subsequent offense.
The maximum fine for failing to slow down when approaching a construction zone increased from $10,000 to $25,000.
Other traffic laws
Starting Jan. 1, it is also illegal for vehicles to have tinted or smoked lights. Law enforcement officials say these lights often make it difficult to see the vehicle.
Along with the state’s ban on using a cellphone while driving, the state also added a prohibition on watching or streaming video on a device.
Baby changing stations
A new law requires all public buildings with a restroom open to the public to have at least one diaper-changing station accessible to both men and women.