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IL defense lawyerThe start of a brand-new year often means the passage of new laws, which may affect certain criminal offenses. New Illinois legislation going into effect in 2021 includes increasing the minimum wage, capping the out-of-pocket costs for insulin, and enhancing the penalties for speeding in the city of Chicago. Beginning on March 1, 2021, any person driving 6-10 miles per hour (mph) over the speed limit in Chicago speed camera zones will receive a ticket. Motorists traveling 6-10 mph over the speed limit will be fined $35, and those traveling 11 miles or more over the speed limit will be fined $100. The city is launched a 44-day warning period that began on Jan. 15. This means anyone caught going 6-10 mph over the posted speed limit will receive a warning in the mail.

Vehicle Fatalities Increased During the Pandemic

Chicago city officials stated the new speeding law was issued in response to a substantial increase in vehicle speeding and traffic fatalities. A study by the Northwestern University Transportation Center last spring found despite a decrease in crashes during the coronavirus crisis, the severity of the injuries sustained increased. Illinois saw an 11 percent increase in vehicle-related deaths in just the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same time frame of the previous year. Traffic analysts figure it was due to drivers who felt like they could go faster since the roads were less congested.

Different locations have different speed limits. For example, highways and tollways allow for faster speeds, while local side streets and other places where children are present are lower. Those areas with speed cameras are marked by signs and typically have a speed limit of approximately 30 mph. School zone cameras are usually enforced daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and cameras in park zones are on from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The special cameras use 3D radar to identify cars that are moving faster than the posted speed limit and then they capture an image of the vehicle.

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IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois takes traffic violations seriously, since disobeying traffic laws can lead to car accidents with injuries. Certain infractions can result in criminal charges, and a motorist losing his or her driving privileges for a period of time. This can cause great hardship if a person relies on driving to get to and from work to support his or her family. Depending on the offense, an individual may be able to obtain an occupational license, which allows him or her to drive to designated places at specific times for employment or school. However, if a driver operates his or her vehicle on a suspended or revoked license, the penalties can be steep. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help defend against these serious charges.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

In Illinois, after a conviction for a traffic violation, points are added to a motorist’s driving record, with the number of points varying according to the severity of the offense. Multiple violations can result in the suspension of driving privileges. A few of the most common traffic offenses that can warrant a license suspension or revocation.

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Failure to attend court hearings
  • Lapsed auto insurance
  • Multiple moving violations
  • Unpaid traffic or parking tickets
  • Other administrative suspensions

Illinois Punishment

Driving while your license is suspended is a criminal offense in Illinois. A first-time conviction of driving on a suspended or revoked license can put a driver in jail for 10 days, or he or she may be ordered to perform 30 days of community service.

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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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