CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed “Patricia’s Law” and Kelsey’s Law,” two new traffic safety measures that will help eliminate the option of court supervision for drivers involved in fatal accidents and prohibit the issuance of driver’s licenses to those under 18 years of age with outstanding traffic violations. These actions are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to make Illinois roads safer for all drivers.
“What happened to Patricia and Kelsey were tragedies that must not happen again,” Governor Quinn said. “These new laws will make our roads safer for drivers and passengers by keeping more distracted and dangerous drivers from getting behind the wheel.”
Both laws were strongly supported by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.
“I initiated these important pieces of legislation to make the roads of Illinois safer,” Secretary of State Jesse White said. “I commend the legislature for passing them and the Governor for signing them into law. I would also like to commend the Spears Family for their support of Patricia’s law, and Kelsey Little and her family for their work on behalf of Kelsey’s Law.”
Sponsored by State Representative John D’Amico (D-Chicago) and State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Matteson), House Bill 1010, “Patricia’s Law,” is named after Patricia McNamara, who was killed by a distracted driver who was then fined and sentenced to court supervision, which meant that no conviction appeared on his record. The new law prohibits a court from granting supervision to anyone charged as the result of a fatal accident if that driver has had a prior court supervision. The law takes effect January 1, 2014.
"Too many drivers do not concentrate on the road and this too often puts the safety of others at risk," Representative D'Amico said. "Almost three traffic-related deaths occur in Illinois every day. Our roads need to be safer. These new laws are important steps toward protecting the lives of all citizens on our roadways and holding those responsible for serious traffic incidents accountable for their actions."
Sponsored by Representative D’Amico and State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero), House Bill 1009, “Kelsey’s Law,” is named for a 15-year-old who was seriously injured in an accident when hit by a teen driver who was able to apply for and receive a full driver’s license just three days later. The law authorizes the Secretary of State to deny driver’s licenses or permits to those 18 years of age and under who have unresolved traffic citations. The law takes effect immediately.
“This measure was named in honor of Kelsey Little, who received serious injuries in an accident caused by a young driver who had a GDL,” Senator Sandoval said. “The GDL has been successful in curbing the number of teen driving deaths since it became law in 2008, and this will give the Secretary of State additional abilities to enforce who receives a license.”
Governor Quinn also today signed House Bill 772, sponsored by Representative D’Amico and State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) that requires those between the ages of 18 and 21 who did not take a driver’s education course in school to complete an adult driver education course before receiving a driver’s license. The law takes effect July 1, 2014.