Beginning today, July 1st, 2019, Illinois will have new taxes and a few new rules and regulations that will affect motorists. There will be an increased gas tax, doubled from its previous point, along with new fines for using a cell phone while driving. The intention of the new rules and taxes is to generate Illinois more money, much of which will be spent on fixing roadways and bridges.
Previously, Illinois had a 19 cent per gallon tax on gasoline. However, according to the Chicago Tribune, starting today Illinois doubles the tax to 38 cents per gallon.
The goal of increasing this tax is to help generate desperately needed funding for many Illinois construction projects. The article states that cook county municipalities would be able to tack on an additional 3 cents as they see fit, and other counties could go up as much as 8 cents.
The increase in gas is never good for motorists, and gas prices were already high without the new tax. It will be interesting to see if more people opt to cross county lines in search of cheaper gas, and some near the borders may try another state. Others may consider converting from a conventional gas-powered car to an electric or hybrid.
Fine My Phone
According to the article, police issue $75 fines for first time offenders caught using a cell phone while driving. Additionally, the fee increases $25 for repeated offenses up to $150. However, after the third offense, the police will give ticket you a $150 fine plus license suspension.
New changes in the law also make it so the reasons to ticket drivers for moving violations more expansive, thus expensive for divers. Many people do not understand that sitting in a traffic stop light does not mean you can use a cell phone while driving. Police will ticket you without warning.
Take Home Message
Driving in Illinois just got a bit more expensive for most people, and the consequences for cell phone use increased. These measures are not meant to prevent or deter people from driving, yet many may feel they can barely afford gas prices now. There is next to no excuse to use a phone while driving, other than emergency situations of course.
If the police catch you using a cell phone while driving enough times, or if you get in an accident due to distracted driving, Illinois State rules may require you to carry the Sr-22 financial form. Insurance Navy assists people in filing the form and helps them find adequate auto insurance rates as well.