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IL defense lawyerChicago’s Kennedy Expressway experienced a nearly 60 car pileup this Wednesday - the morning of icy conditions more usually seen in the winter months. This crash was a result of a combination of speeding and following too closely. These actions can lead to traffic tickets and fines for smaller crashes where it is obvious who is at fault.

The impact of this major crash was that 14 people were taken to the hospital and several more were treated on-scene. All of this could have been avoided if drivers practiced safer driving habits in the winter-like weather.

Safe Driving Tips for Icy Conditions

The roads become slicker even if it looks like ice is not sticking to the pavement. Drivers should slow their rate of travel because the faster one drives, the less control the driver has if the car starts to slide on the ice.

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IL defense lawyerLast year, there was a six-car pileup on the Kennedy Expressway which injured nine people and killed at least one person. A semi-truck struck stopped vehicles and the driver was charged with failure to reduce speed, according to the Illinois State Police department.

Since then, not much has changed in regards to speeding citations on the Kennedy or the other highways which connect Chicago to the suburbs. The most unfortunate part is seeing cars travel at far too high of a speed on roads that can already be dangerous because of the number of vehicles.

When Does Speeding Become Aggravated Speeding?

All drivers are responsible for knowing the speed limits on each type of road in Illinois. While there should be signs posted along the roads to remind drivers, everyone should know and maintain the proper speed in order to avoid collisions:

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IL defense lawyerIllinois State Police estimates that every year distracted driving is the cause of more than 1 million crashes. Of those accidents, the economic damages - injury and death - add up to close to $40 billion. This is why Illinois is cracking down on cell phone usage while behind the wheel. The law changed on July 1 and now states that using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle will be considered a moving violation on the first violation.

What Was the Previous Law?

Before the first of July, drivers who were stopped because of cell phone usage behind the wheel were given a verbal warning that if it were to happen again, they would face a traffic violation. The subsequent traffic stops would result in a moving violation and a fine would be issued depending on how many violations the driver has had:

  • First offenses are punishable by a $75 fine.
  • Second offenses are punishable by a $100 fine.
  • Third offenses are punishable by a $125 fine.
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses are punishable by a $150 fine.

What to Expect Now

The major change to the Illinois law is that now any violation of cell phone usage while driving will go on a driver’s permanent record as a moving violation even if it is the first offense. The fines remain the same as before, but according to a report from the Chicago Tribune, if a driver receives three violations in one year, their license will be suspended.

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IL defense lawyerIllinois has plenty of rules for motorists to remain safe when driving through construction zones. According to the Illinois Highway Safety Plan, motorists are more likely to be injured in a construction zone accident than workers, but the rules are put into place to avoid any accident or injury. Those who do not adhere to the construction zone rules are putting their lives and the lives of the workers at risk. Motorists who are caught will be charged with a commercial driver’s license violation which leads to traffic tickets and fines.

What Are the Punishments for Construction Zone Violations?

Distracted driving is one common violation that can result in a motorist being pulled over and ticketed. If someone is talking or texting on a cell phone, the fine is $75 for first offenses and increases to $150 for subsequent offenses.

Speeding in a construction zone is a ticketed offense whether or not there are workers present. This is because 90 percent of work zone fatalities are motorists and not workers, according to the Illinois Highway Safety Plan. First offenses for speeding in a construction zone are punishable by a minimum fine of $375 and subsequent offenses result in a minimum fine of $1,000. If the subsequent offense happens within two years of the first offense, a motorist will have their CDL suspended for 90 days. 

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IL defense lawyerIf you are like some people, you get a sinking feeling in your stomach when you see a police officer, even if you did not do anything wrong. Getting pulled over by a police officer can be a daunting experience and one wrong move can cost you greatly. If you disrespect an officer, whether you mean to or not, the officer will most likely punish you to the full extent of the law for the reason he or she pulled you over. A simple traffic ticket can turn into a big deal. Often times, police officers will let you off the hook a little bit if you comply, which is why it is important that you know what you should and should not do when you are pulled over by a police officer.

Proper Etiquette After You Are Stopped

There are certain things that you should and should not do when you are pulled over by a police officer. Here are some tips that you should follow when you find yourself in the middle of a traffic stop:

  • As soon as you see flashing blue and red lights behind you, slow down and look for a safe place to pull over. If there is no safe place to pull over within a minute or so, you should turn on your hazard lights, which signals to the police officer that you acknowledge that he or she is trying to pull you over.
  • Once you have found a safe place to stop, turn your engine off and keep your hands on the wheel where the officer can see them at all times. This ensures safety for both you and the officer because the officer may become suspicious if he or she cannot see your hands.
  • Roll down your window completely when the officer comes to the side of your vehicle. If it is night time, it may be a good idea to turn on your vehicle’s interior lights so the officer can see you and the interior of your vehicle clearly.
  • Only reach for your license, registration, and proof of insurance when you are instructed to do so. Reaching for the glove box can also raise a red flag for the police officer.
  • Do not get out of your vehicle for any reason unless the officer instructs you to do so. This goes for both you and any passengers you may be carrying.
  • Be polite to the police officer, answer any questions he or she may have and comply with his or her requests. This can save you a lot of grief.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer

Getting on the bad side of a police officer can be detrimental to your driving record. Police officers do not respond well to civilians being rude and argumentative. If you find yourself in possession of a traffic ticket, a skilled Chicago traffic ticket defense attorney can help you fight the charges against you. At the Luisi Legal Group, we can help you form a personalized defense for your traffic ticket. Call our office today at 773-276-5541 to schedule a free consultation.

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