Woodford County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

The Dutch Reach is now law in Illinois.


Dutch Reach is new law in Illinois

Think Dutch Reach when you exit a vehicle.

Typically, most drivers use their left hand to open the driver’s door. But now according to a law that Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed, drivers have to use their right hand.

The reasoning behind this is that by using your right hand, your body and your eyes will be facing more to the right. By doing so, you will be more likely to spot oncoming traffic (bicyclists, other vehicles) that could collide with an open car door.

The General Assembly approved the law based on Illinois Department of Transportation data showing dooring crashes are on the rise across the state.

This new rule affects passengers also. Passengers will need to use their left hand when exiting,

The Dutch Reach is already included in the 2018 edition of Illinois Rules of Road and, under the terms of the legislation, will be included in the pool of questions for the Illinois Secretary of State’s driver’s exam beginning on Jan. 1.

This new law comes on the heels of another one about distracted driving. The new law will up the penalty for first-time offenders who are caught texting while driving.

The law will reclassify the first offense as a moving violation. Currently, first-time offenders caught texting and driving are given a ticket that is classified as a less serious nonmoving violation. The change for first-time offenders goes into effect July 1, 2019.

Helpline for opioids, other substances reaches 5,000th call 

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is launching new features on its Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances. The helpline provides 24-hour access to individuals experiencing opioid use disorders, their families and anyone affected by the disease.

More than 5,000 people have called the helpline since its launch in December, and with three new features being added, helpline specialists will be equipped to better serve callers and increase treatment across the state. 

  • Licensed Clinicians will now offer follow-up services to callers to help them navigate through potential treatment barriers and offer next steps to support recovery.
  • Warm Transfers will allow helpline staff members to link callers directly to treatment programs whenever possible and make it easier for them to connect with a provider.
  • Another new feature will let callers provide feedback about their experience with the Helpline, immediately after their call. Feedback will be reviewed and analyzed each month to assess Helpline performance and identify areas for improvement.

The IDHS also launched HelplineIL.org in May, giving those affected by opioid and other substance use disorders an online option to access treatment.  

Opioid deaths continue to rise across the country, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, which reports more than 63,600 opioid overdose deaths in 2016.

If you or someone you know is experiencing opioid use disorder, call the state’s Helpline for Opioids and other Substances at 1-833-2FINDHELP or visit HelplineIL.org.


Woodford posts low unemployment

Woodford County contributed to the dip in unemployment figures in the region for July.

The lowest area unemployment was registered in Woodford County, which had a 3.7 percent rate, down from 4.2 percent in July last year.

Unemployment fell in each of the state’s metropolitan areas in July, compared to the same month last year, however the dip was less than a full percentage point in the Peoria region.

State data released last week by the Illinois Department of Employment Security said that region saw a decrease of 0.6 percentage points, with unemployment in July dropping to 4.9 percent.

The region also saw a net growth of 500 jobs compared to the number that had existed in July 2017.

Across the metropolitan area, unemployment remains the highest in Peoria County, which had a July rate of 5.3 percent. That, however, improved from its 5.8 percent in July 2017.



–Woodford County News Briefs–