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New Road Rules for 2014

Things to remember behind the wheel.
PEORIA –With laws changing in 2014, certain things will land you in hot water that might not have before.
 
Here are a couple new Illinois laws you should to pay extra attention to while you're driving.

First, watch your speedometer. The speed limit on interstates goes up from 65 to 70 miles an hour.

“There's still going to be areas where people need to follow the posted speed limits such as through Peoria into East Peoria I’m told that that's not going to change. So it's still going to be 55 miles per hour through there,” said State Trooper Dustin Pierce.

Pierce says the signs might not change all at once so people have to follow whatever the posted signs say.

“I was told I-DOT has a large number of the signs all ready to go, but it's just going to take time it's going to depend upon the weather as well,” he said.

Starting January first, no more holding a cell phone behind the wheel.

 “In order to use your phone when you're driving a vehicle you have to have a hands free device,” Pierce said.

That includes Bluetooth and even headphones; they just can't be in both ears. Pierce says drivers have to be able to hear traffic and emergency vehicles behind them. He said speakerphone is OK, as long as the driver isn’t holding the phone.

The first offense is a $75 fine and they go up after that, but if someone is hurt the driver could face up to a year in jail with a $2,500 fine. If someone dies in the crash, the driver could spend the next one to three years in prison.

Another new law for 2014 qualifies cigarette butts as litter; a fineable offense.

The first time they're caught, people can face up to six months in jail and up to a $1,500 dollar fine. Second offense is up to a year in jail with up to a $2,500 fine. Third strike litterbugs are out with up to three years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine.

Think that's harsh?

“People going down a road and throwing a cigarette out of cars and they cause a fire and we've had several along the interstate that we've responded to where people throw cigarettes out the window causing the median, the ditch, this lights that on fire. Then you know, the smoke from these fires creating another traffic problem,” Pierce said.

Pierce says he hopes people follow the new laws- because state police will be on the lookout for people who aren't.

To see a complete list of the more than 200 new laws you can visit www.ilga.gov.
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