7 Illinois Traffic Laws Drivers Commonly Ignore

Illinois drivers often ignore some of the most important rules of the road, including the minimum speed limit and yielding the right-of-way.

Although Illinois has a variety of traffic laws in place, many drivers choose to ignore them. This can lead to dangerous situations on the road and costly fines.

This article will highlight seven of the most commonly ignored traffic laws in Illinois. If you’re guilty of violating any of these laws, it’s time to change your ways. Read on to learn more.

Refer to these resources for more details:

1. Illinois Slower Traffic Keep Right Law: The “Move Over” Rule

When driving on an interstate or an access-controlled freeway in Illinois, you cannot drive in the left lane unless you are passing. An exception exists for when there are no other vehicles behind you in the left lane.

Upon an Interstate highway or fully access controlled freeway, a vehicle may not be driven in the left lane, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle. This does not apply when no other vehicle is directly behind the vehicle in the left lane.

ILCS § 11-701

2. Illinois Flow of Traffic Law: The “Minimum Speed” Rule

Illinois law prohibits you from driving so slowly that you delay other motorists on the road. In some situations, the authorities can also set a minimum speed limit for certain roads.

In either case, you can move slower than the flow of traffic to drive safely or follow the law. So, you won’t get pulled over for going the speed limit, even if everyone else is driving faster.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation of his vehicle or in compliance with law.

Whenever the Department, The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, or a local authority determines that slow vehicle speeds along any part or zone of such highway or street consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the authority may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which no person shall drive except when necessary for safe operation of his vehicle or in compliance with law.

ILCS § 11-603

3. Illinois Driving in Left Lane Law: The “Passing on the Left” Rule

The Illinois traffic code requires you to pass on the left. When passing, you must also leave a safe distance and wait until you have cleared the other vehicle to return to the right lane.

On a two-lane road, you cannot pass unless the left side is free of oncoming traffic. Don’t try to pass unless you have enough space to do so safely. You also must return to the right lane before coming within 200 feet of an approaching vehicle.

If you are being passed, you have to yield the right-of-way if the other driver sounds their horn. The law also prohibits speeding up until the other driver has completely passed you.

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the pavement or the main traveled portion of the roadway.

Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

ILCS § 11-703

No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken.

In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.

ILCS § 11-705

4. Illinois Rear-End Collision Law: The “Following Too Closely” Rule

In Illinois, tailgating can be illegal. The law prohibits following another driver more closely than is “reasonable and prudent.” You must consider your speed, as well as traffic and road conditions, when deciding what is a reasonable distance.

The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.

ILCS § 11-710

5. Illinois Mobile Phone Driving Law: The “Hands-Free Driving” Rule

You cannot use a handheld cell phone when driving in Illinois. The traffic code says drivers cannot use electronic communication devices that are not in hands-free mode. An exception exists for emergency situations.

A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device, including using an electronic communication device to watch or stream video.

This does not apply to a driver using an electronic communication device for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel during the emergency situation or a driver using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-operated mode, which may include the use of a headset.

ILCS § 12-610.2

6. Illinois Four-Way Intersection Law: The “4-Way Stop” Rule

If two vehicles approach an Illinois intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way. This means that the vehicle on the right gets to go first. The left driver must wait to drive through the intersection.

When 2 vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different roadways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

ILCS § 11-901

7. Illinois Left Turn Intersection Law: The “Right of Way” Rule

Under Illinois traffic laws, you must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic when turning left. If a vehicle approaching from the other direction is close enough to be a danger, you must wait to turn. Don’t turn left until you can do so safely.

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard, but said driver, having so yielded may proceed at such time as a safe interval occurs.

ILCS § 11-902

The penalties for violating Illinois traffic laws can be expensive and dangerous. Drivers should be aware of these laws to avoid costly fines, points on their licenses, and crashes. By obeying the rules of the road while driving in Illinois, you can help to ensure a safe commute for everyone.

Amy Grover is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, then passing the bar exam in 2014, Amy began her diverse career as a practicing attorney. Amy has a range of experience in the legal field, including work with the Department... Read More >>