When Patricia McNamara, of Rockford, was killed in a crash by a distracted driver, the other driver "received a fine and court supervision in the case," according to the Chicago Tribune
. That driver already had prior speeding convictions. Under one of the three new road safety bills Governor Pat Quinn signed into law in early August, he or she wouldn't have been on the road. The new bill, "dubbed 'Patricia's Law,' would prohibit judges from granting supervision to anyone charged in a fatal accident
if they have a prior conviction or were previously on court supervision for another serious traffic violation
," according to the Tribune
. Under the new law, even if a driver receives and successfully completes court supervisions, "which often includes safety classes and fines," reports the Tribune
, it'd be much harder to get back behind the wheel after an accident like the one that claimed McNamara's life.
The other two laws signed by the Illinois governor this August deal with younger drivers. The second allows for the denial of a "driver's license or permit to anyone 18 or younger who has unresolved traffic tickets," according to the Tribune
. This law was inspired by Kelsey Little, who was a pedestrian on her way home with friends with she was "hit and seriously injured by a teen driver who was operating a vehicle with a learner's permit." The teen driver was able to apply for and receive a full license just three days after the accident, according to the Tribune
The third law part of the new legislation requires any 18- to 21-year-old who did not complete Driver's Ed in high school to do so before he or she may be issued a full license. This law does not take effect until mid 2014, according to the Tribune
. According to the office of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, which is in charge of issuing licenses, the laws were designed after "public outcry and news reports that highlighted the flaws in the system."
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident
related to these new laws, don't go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago accident attorney