SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) - There are stiffer penalties in Illinois for crashes involving crosswalks and right-of-way violations, under a law that takes effect on Wednesday.
Mason's Law was introduced last year in honor of Mason Knorr. The 24-year-old died after a semi ran a stop sign and crashed into his pickup truck in 2018. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the proposal into law on the anniversary of Knorr's death in 2019.
Sen. Jason Barickman said negligent drivers shouldn't get away with "just a fine" if they cause serious injuries to someone by failing to yield. Violators will have their driver's license suspended for a year.
"It's simply designed to reflect that when we make bad judgments, whether they're intentional or not, the law reacts. That's what happened in this circumstance," Barickman said.
The Bloomington Republican sponsored this proposal in the Senate. His colleague Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) filed the bill in the House. Both lawmakers represent the rural community of Clifton where Knorr lived.
Barickman explained the law also ensures pedestrians can cross streets safely and holds driver's accountable for their actions. He hopes people will continue to make smart decisions on the road.
"Ultimately, I think we're trying to impact behavior when people are behind a wheel. With these types of laws, I think we're starting to see that," Barickman said.