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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2006

Governor Blagojevich signs law toughening penalties for driving without car insurance
Suspension of license will provide incentive to always have car insurance

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law increasing penalties for those caught driving without car insurance. Senate Bill 624 suspends the licenses for drivers convicted of driving without car insurance and requires them to pay a $100 fine to reinstate their licenses.

"When drivers head out on the roads without insurance – it costs everyone. When there’s an accident and one driver isn’t insured, responsible drivers who do have insurance can end up bearing the brunt of the costs. It’s not fair to penalize drivers who do the right thing, and this new law makes it clear – if you don’t have insurance, don’t get behind the wheel," said Gov. Blagojevich.

Rep. William B. Black (R – Danville) and Sen. Richard J. Winkel (R – Urbana) sponsored the bill, which Sen. Winkel introduced after an uninsured driver caused a bad accident in his district. SB 624 is an amendment to the already existing Illinois Vehicle Code and the Unified Code of Corrections, which penalizes motorists without insurance with a fine of $500 to $1000. Drivers convicted while on suspension for a similar violation will have their licenses suspended for an additional 6 months.

"I am pleased that both houses decided to respond to the problem of uninsured motorists on our roads," said Sen. Winkel. "The bill will make clear to motorists that driving without insurance is a serious matter with terrible results if there ever is an accident."

"The current law does not provide enough incentive to obtain insurance, and without insurance, drivers may find safe driving less of a priority," said Rep. Black. "With the bill in place, drivers who have not yet obtained insurance will now find more reason to do so."

The Governor has made road safety a priority for his administration and has actively supported legislation to protect Illinois’ drivers. Previous safety measures signed by the Governor include:

A law that bans teen drivers from carrying more than one passenger for the first six months after receiving his or her license;

A law that bans cell phone use by drivers under 18;

Requiring drivers under 18 to make sure that their teen passengers are buckled properly in the front and back seats;

The primary seat belt enforcement law that allows officers to stop and ticket drivers for not wearing a seat belt; and

A law that raises the age at which children must be in booster seats from 4 to 8.

Senate Bill 624 goes into effect July 1, 2007.



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