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Posted on: March 28, 2017

Spring Safety Reminders

With the arrival of spring, pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic historically increase within the community. The Police Department encourages residents to stay safe while out and about in the community.

Statewide Hand-Held Cell Phone Restriction
Like other States, hand-held cell phone use while driving is restricted in Illinois. Hands-free devices are permissible, except while operating a motor vehicle within a school speed zone or on a highway in construction or maintenance speed zones. Fines for violations range from $50 to $500. 

Share the Road
Motorists and bicyclists are encouraged to “Share the Road.”
  • Motorists are required by law to leave a safe distance of at least three feet when passing the bicyclist and shall maintain that distance until safely past the bicyclist. 
  • Slow Down! Motorists are reminded to obey posted City speed limits. Speeding endangers lives and property, reduces reaction time and increases fuel consumption. Fines for speeding violations begin at $120. Excessive speeding may result in a physical arrest.
  • Traffic laws apply to all persons riding bicycles. Bicyclists can be cited for traffic violations. Bicyclists must stop at stop signs and may not ride more than two abreast on the roadway. Bicyclists are restricted from using a hand-held electronic communication device on the roadway. Bicyclists are also required to use a light during hours of darkness. 
Bicycle/Safety Helmet Requirements
Every person under the age of 16 operating a bicycle, skateboard, in-line skates or any other non-motorized user-propelled wheeled device is required to wear a protective bicycle/safety helmet. Persons age 16 or older are strongly encouraged to wear an adequate bicycle/safety helmet to reduce the risk of death or serious injury.

Teen Driver Safety and Local Curfew for Minors Law
Be aware of Illinois’ graduated driver’s licensing laws and the City of Highland Park curfew for minor’s ordinance.
  • A nighttime driving curfew is in place Sunday through Thursday from 10 PM to 6 AM and Friday and Saturday 11 PM to 6 AM for teen drivers aged 15 through age 17. The driver’s license of a teen becomes invalid when driving after the curfew and the driver is subject to arrest for driving without a license. Many insurance companies may not cover damages caused by an unlicensed driver. 
  • For the first year of licensing or until the driver is age 18, whichever occurs first, the number of passengers is limited to one person under age 20, unless the additional passenger(s) is a sibling, step-sibling, child, or step-child of the driver. After this period, the number of passengers is limited to one in the front seat and the number of safety belts in the back seat.
  • In Highland Park, it is unlawful for a person age 17 and under to be at any public Sunday through Thursday between the hours of 11 PM and 6 AM and on Saturday and Sunday between 12:01 AM and 6:00 AM. Violators are subject to arrest, and fines range from $25 to $500. City Ordinance allows exemptions which include: persons under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible person 18 years of age, attending or traveling to or from school, religious or civic activity, or involved in an emergency. 

Seat Safety Belts Saves Lives
Drivers and passengers of a motor vehicle must wear a properly fastened and adjusted seat safety belt. Highland Park Police enforce seat safety belt violations. 

Start Seeing Motorcycles
In the spring and summer, motorcycle and motorized scooter activity increase. Motorists are encouraged to maintain awareness and exercise caution while operating a motor vehicle near motorcycles or motorized scooters. Motorcyclists and motorized scooter riders should wear proper high-visibility protective clothing to increase their visibility to other motorists and helmets to reduce their risk of death or serious injury. 

Residents that need further clarification on the provided information are encouraged to contact Sergeant Chris O’Neill at the Police Department non-emergency number 847.432.7730.

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