Several new traffic laws take effect in Illinois January 1st.
The speed limit on rural interstates will go up from 65 to 70-miles-per-hour. Madison and St. Clair Counties can opt out on heavily congested highways. Penalties for speeding will get tougher. Driving more than 26 miles-per-hour over the speed limit will be a Class B misdemeanor. Exceed the limit by 35 miles-per-hour and is a Class A misdemeanor.
And the use of hand-held cellphones will be banned. Fines run from 70-to-150-dollars. Cause a fatal accident because of cellphone use and you could spend three years in prison. Bluetooth headsets, earpieces, and voice activated commands are still allowed.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has a message for drivers over the holiday weekend: mind the traffic laws, especially the DUI laws.
Police will conduct Safety Checkpoints, also known as sobriety checks across the city all weekend.
Department officials aren't saying exactly where or when drivers might be stopped, just that it could happen in any city neighborhood, any time between Friday morning and Sunday night.