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Getting behind the wheel is a privilege—not a right, as we often assume. There are laws in place designed to make the roads a safe place to be for everyone, and starting January 1, 2014, there will be a few more laws going into effect. Learn about them now so you can avoid getting a ticket later.

New Speed Limits, Speeding Regulations

On all rural interstates, the speed limit will increase from 65 to 70mph. Eight counties, however—Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, McHenry, Lake, Madison, and St. Clair—will have the option to maintain their current 55mph speed limits.

Starting January 1, speeding 26-34mph over the posted limit will now be a Class B misdemeanor, while speeding 35mph or more over the posted limit will be a Class A misdemeanor.

Cell Phone Use

Using hand-held cell phones while driving will be prohibited come January 1. Bluetooth headsets/earpieces and voice-activated commands are permitted. Exempted from this new law are law enforcement officers or first responders—even drivers reporting emergencies are subject to the new law and should pull to the side of the road before calling. Violations can cost up to $75 for the first offense, $100 for the 2nd, $125 for the 3rd, and $150 for a 4th or subsequent offense. Not included in the ban is the use of a GPS or navigation system.

Penalties for distracted drivers who cause injury or fatality in an accident caused by cell phone use will face a Class A misdemeanor, which carries fines up to $2,500 and less than a year of jail time. Drivers involved in fatal accidents may be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries fines up to $25,000 and up to three years of jail time.

Another new law will upgrade charges from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony for anyone under 19 who causes an accident with injuries while using a wireless device.

One final new law regarding technology use behind the wheel prohibits motorists from having any form of video device applications operating that are visible to the driver while driving.

Disabled Parking Permit Abuse

Other new laws involve the use of disabled parking permits, particularly when used by able-bodied drivers. Now, eligible motorists will have to display a gray-and-yellow placard in order to park for free in metered spaces in Chicago and throughout Illinois. This new law is to ensure that only people with permanent disabilities are granted free parking privileges. Under new requirements, state officials expect that the number of free-parking permits will decline significantly—now, drivers who have blue or red placards or disability plates will no longer be eligible for free parking. Blue placards allow motorists to park in disability-designated spaces in parking lots, but not metered zones, while red placards allow for parking in disability-designated spaces for a temporary period of time.

Another law increases fines for unauthorized use of a disabled-parking permit from $500 to $600. Motorists found to have created or used a counterfeit placard will be fined $1,000, up from $500.


Firm Awards & Recognitions

Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the American Institute of Legal Counsel. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list for 2018-2019.

  • Only the top 100 trial lawyers from each state or highly-populated regions of certain states who are actively practicing in civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law are eligible for invitation. Invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process based upon objective and uniformly applied criteria which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.

    Prospective members of The NTL are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership.

  • Top Attorneys Diamond Member

  • Top Attorneys of North America 2019-2020

  • The American Institute of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only professional organization composed of premier trial attorneys from each state. These attorneys exemplify the very best qualities and qualifications of an attorney. Each attorney must meet stringent qualifications as a civil or criminal trial attorney. These attorneys practice in a variety of fields to help and promote the ethical and elite practice of law. Selection is based on a thorough multi phase process which includes peer nominations and third party research. Each member must be in good standing with their local compliance organization. Membership is extended to only a select few in each state and/or region.

  • As the founder of Steven J. Malman and Associates, P.C., Attorney Steven Malman has 21 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, premises liability, construction and workers’ compensation cases. Mr. Malman is one of Chicago’s leading authorities on personal injury law and has taken a special interest in defending the elderly from neglect and abuse. He has personally handled over 10,000 cases successfully, and collected hundreds of millions dollars for his clients.

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