Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Quinn Passes Law to Fight Speeders in Illinois

Bills further restricting cell phone use were also signed.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Drivers who go too far over the speed limit will face stiffer penalties under a new law signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Friday.

    Senate Bill 2888, also known as Julie's Law, prevents judges from ordering supervision for drivers charged with speeding 31 m.p.h or more on a highway and 25 m.p.h on urban roads. Supervision could previously be ordered for for speeding up to 40 m.p.h over the speed limit.

    "We want to have strict laws to deal with those who greatly exceed the speed limit and cause great harm and loss of life," said Quinn.

    The new law is named for Julie Anne Gorczynski, who was killed in a 2012 traffic accident involving a driver going 76 m.p.h. in a 40 m.p.h. zone. The driver had seven court-ordered supervisions within a few years time, the victim's mother Pam Gorczynski said during the signing.

    "Julie's Law is a great honor to our daughter's memory," she said in a ceremony in front of Lincoln Way North High School, from which her daughter had graduated a week before the rollover crash . "We as Julie's family would like to extend our gratitude to all who have helped make this law a reality."

    One of the bill's co-sponsors in the Senate, State Sen. Sid Mathias is content with the potential for people to lose driving privileges under the new law.

    "We have to basically educate people to realize that speed kills, and that we need to do something about it," he said. "And that if they lose their license in the process of that learning, then so be it."

    Other bills signed at the ceremony included SB2488, which makes cell phone use in any work zone illegal, not just ones with a speed limit reduction and HB5101, making cell phone use by commercial drivers illegal. Gov. Quinn also signed HB5099, which prohibits people from using a phone within 500 feet of an emergency scene to take pictures.

    Gov. Quinn noted the Julie's Law is an example of government responding to problems.

    "It is showing, I hope, that democracy does respond to tragedies and things that aren't going in the right direction."