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IL defense lawyerThe road is dangerous enough on its own, but when driving through a construction zone, there are many other obstacles to be aware of. Therefore, instead of speeding up, drivers are expected to slow down and be extra alert in case of holes in the road, barricades, and workers doing their jobs.

Speeding within a construction zone is a traffic violation and can be considered reckless driving. This is because a driver who is traveling too fast through a work zone is putting themselves, other drivers, and construction workers at risk of injury or death.

Punishments can be as simple as a traffic ticket for speeding in a construction zone or as serious as facing felony reckless homicide penalties.

Rules of Construction Zones

The Illinois Department of Transportation reported that from 2010-14 there were 4,500 motor vehicle crashes within construction zones. Of that number, 1,100 people were injured and 27 were killed.

The two most common reasons for these collisions are distracted drivers and speeding. Whether there are workers present or not, a car can be pulled over for speeding and be issued a ticket. An appearance in court is mandatory after a violation as well as paying a fine:

  • $375 for first offenders
  • $1,000 for second and subsequent offenders

If a driver commits two speeding offenses within a construction zone in the span of two years, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend the driver’s license for a period of 90 days.

Enforcement in Construction Zones

Of course, there can be police officers posted at construction zones to catch people speeding. There are also photo speed enforcement devices that can be set up in construction zones when no police officers are physically present, but workers are.

These devices capture images of the speeding vehicle including license plates and the rate of speed the car is traveling. Then, authorities have 14 days to mail the ticket or else the driver cannot be charged for the crime.

Severe Results from Speeding in Construction Zones

If a driver is traveling too fast through a work zone, they are less likely to see workers who are doing their jobs. Often, construction zones are full of large equipment that is hard to see around and so motorists should slow down in case a worker suddenly appears from behind a large object.

If a worker is hit and killed by a motorist, that driver can face a Class 2 felony charge of reckless homicide. This punishment is a prison term of 3-14 years.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violation Attorney

Being issued a speeding ticket within a construction zone does not mean the driver will automatically have to pay the fine. Drivers can appear in court with a knowledgeable attorney who can build a defense. The lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can make sure the ticket was not issued unlawfully or that the driver’s right were being violated in any way during the traffic stop. To schedule an appointment with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.idot.illinois.gov/assets/uploads/files/travel-information/pamphlets-&-brochures/workzone%20il%20fact%20sheet.pdf

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b2ap3_thumbnail_stop.jpgOver the years, drivers have become more and more aggressive on the road. A lot of drivers push the speed limits; in a hurry to get where they are going. Others have gotten into the habit of running red lights or not stopping at stop signs. In a recent study by AAA, 939 people were killed nationwide as a result of drivers failing to stop at intersections that require them to stop for other cars or pedestrians. Because of this statistic, drivers who fail to stop could potentially be charged with reckless driving or even reckless homicide in cases where a person was killed.

Why It Is Important to Obey Stop Signs/Lights

The amount of people who travel in cars has also increased year after year, making the roadways a busy place. It is important that everyone obey the rules of the road to avoid collisions that could potentially involve many cars.

In Illinois, drivers are required to come to a complete stop at a red light or a stop sign. If at a light, drivers must remain stationary until the light turns green. At a stop sign, drivers must yield to the right-of-way rule which states that whoever stops at their stop sign first can cross the intersection first. Drivers turning left usually have to wait until other drivers make their turns before they make theirs.

Pedestrians always have the right-of-way at intersections that are marked with stop signs. All drivers must stop when they see pedestrians crossing their side of the road.

The exception to red light stops is for people who are making a right turn at a light. Drivers must still stop before making their turn in order to check on-coming traffic. When it is safe - and there are no pedestrians crossing - drivers can make their right turns.

Otherwise, those who drive through a red light will:

  • Be fined $120 for a traffic violation
  • Be fined $100 if caught by an automatic traffic camera
  • Have 20 demerit points added to their driving record

Reckless Driving Punishments

Illinois law says that reckless driving is the operation of a motor vehicle in a way that puts others on the road in danger. Driving through red lights or stop signs falls under this definition because other drivers or pedestrians are not prepared for someone to continue through an intersection when there is a signal to stop.

Reckless driving is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois with punishments including:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines of up to $2,500 and court fees
  • Suspension of license if a driver already has two strikes on their record

Worse penalties come if a person is killed by a driver running a stop signal. The driver will face reckless homicide charges; a Class 3 felony in Illinois punishable by 3-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Attorney

Sometimes people think they have more time to get through an intersection before the light turns red or they can just ignore the stop sign because there is no one else at the intersection. Or they could just miss the stop sign completely if they are on an unfamiliar road. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can protect you from the more severe penalties to keep your driving record clean. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County reckless driving lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh%2E+11&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=109500000&SeqEnd=134100000

https://illinoisrecklessdriving.com/law-penalties/

https://newsroom.aaa.com/2019/08/red-light-running-deaths-hit-10-year-high/

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Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense attorneyA recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that on a national scale, falling asleep behind the wheel of a car has caused 72,000 crashes - 44,000 injuries and up to 6,000 deaths. Drivers are expected to keep control of their vehicles at all times, so, in Illinois, if someone falls asleep at the wheel, they can at least be issued a traffic ticket. In cases where another person was hurt or killed by a drowsy driver, the offender will face felony charges.

Penalties that Result from Drowsy Driving

It is not safe to drive when you are tired. Drivers who do not only put themselves at risk, but also endangers the lives of others on the road or pedestrians walking along the side of the road.

This is why anyone who causes an accident while driving sleepily will face reckless driving penalties which in most cases means a Class A misdemeanor. There are some exceptions which make the charges felony offenses:

  • Class 4 felony charges are given to those who drive recklessly in a school zone which causes bodily harm to a child and/or crossing guard.
  • Class 3 felony charges are given to those who drive recklessly in a school zone which permanently disables or disfigures a child and/or crossing guard.

Both charges consist of heavy fines of up to $25,000 and jail time ( one to three years for Class 4 felony and two to five years for Class 3 felony).

Illinois law says that drivers could also face charges of reckless homicide if they unintentionally cause the death of another person. Reckless homicide is a Class 3 felony unless:

  • The driver falls asleep in a school zone and hits a child and/or crossing guard. This offense will be a Class 2 felony punishable with a prison term of three to14 years.
  • The driver falls asleep in a school zone and kills two or more people. This offense will be a Class 2 felony punishable with a prison term of six to 28 years.
  • The driver fails to obey a police officer or traffic control worker in a construction zone. This offense will be a Class 2 felony punishable by a prison term of three to 14 years.
  • The driver fails to obey a police officer or traffic control working in a construction zone and kills two or more people. This offense will e a Class 2 felony punishable by a prison term of  six to 28 years.

How to Avoid a Drowsy Driving Accident

Drivers should be aware of their conditions before getting behind the wheel of a car. If someone feels fatigued in any way, they should not drive. Signs to watch out for are:

  • Excessive yawning
  • Blinking frequently
  • Inability to remember events after they have happened
  • Drooping eyelids

Anyone experiencing tired feelings should let someone more awake drive. Or, that person could take a nap before preparing to drive wherever they are going.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Falling asleep while driving is something that could happen to anyone, but no one should have to face the consequences of what happens after. Especially not alone. The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build a defensive strategy to protect offenders from a negative outcome in court. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K9-3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

https://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdrowsydriving/index.html

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IL defense lawyerIllinois was ranked fifth in the country by the Federal Railroad Association for railroad crossing collisions in 2018. In total, Illinois saw 109 collisions (17 deaths and 34 injuries), most of which occurred because safety regulations were not being met by the motorists. Failing to obey the signs that a train is coming is not only a traffic violation, but it also puts lives at risk, as proven by the aforementioned statistics. Not only is the motorist risking their life by trying to beat a train through a crossing, but innocent bystanders can be hurt or killed by debris after a crash.

Signs That a Train Is Approaching

There is plenty of warning given to drivers when they are approaching a train crossing. There will be signs indicating that a crossing is coming up and there may even be lights flashing to alert drivers to prepare to stop.

When a train is approaching, motorists will see:

  • Gates lowering across the road to stop the vehicle from crossing. These gates will also illuminate with flashing red lights.
  • A pair of red railroad lights will begin flashing to get the motorists’ attention and get them to slow down.
  • And a motorist will hear loud bells begin to ring, but this is mostly to alert pedestrians of the incoming train.

Signage for railroad crossings can be posted as far away as 750 feet from the crossing, so drivers have plenty of time to be aware of any trains. In some cases, railroad crossings do not have any safety signals besides a sign. When a driver approaches these types of tracks, they should look both ways before carefully passing over.

When the gates come down, motorists should never speed up to try to beat the train. This is what will lead to a collision. Instead, cars are expected to stop 15 to 50 feet away from the train tracks and wait until the gates raise again before continuing.

How Are Railroad Regulations Enforced?

Some railroad crossings are equipped with an automatic enforcement system which captures images of any violation to railroad regulations. The system will take photos of the vehicle that crosses dangerously, the license plate, and note the time and place in which the incident took place.

Once the proper authorities are alerted to the violation, the driver will face:

  • A $500 fine for a first offense
  • A $1,000 fine for a second offense

Or

  • 25 hours of community service for a first offense
  • Suspension of driver’s license for a minimum of six months

The driver who violated the rules may also have to pay compensation to the railroad company if any damage was done to the safety gates while trying to race the train. Not to mention any lawsuits that may occur if another person was hurt or damage was done to their vehicle by the offending party.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violation Attorney

It is very dangerous to attempt to beat a train through a railroad crossing, however, there are certain situations that may call for the haste. An emergency elsewhere may need attending to and if that was not happening, then the driver would not have been so reckless. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend against any charges brought to a person fighting traffic violations and criminal offenses. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-1201

http://illinoiscarlaws.com/railroad-crossing-laws/

https://oli.org/about-us/news/statistics/collisions-by-state

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IL defense attorneyThe state of Illinois defines reckless driving as anyone operating a motor vehicle with a willful disregard for the safety of other people sharing the road and/or crossing the road. Driving at night without a vehicle’s headlights illuminated can be an act of reckless driving because it is harder for a driver to see the road without the lights on.

Reckless driving charges are usually punishable as misdemeanor offenses, but depending on the seriousness of the outcome, the charges can be elevated to felony offenses.

According to Illinois law, all vehicles are required to have either two or one working headlight; two headlights for cars/trucks and one for motorcycles. The lights must be illuminated during nighttime hours or during the day when:

  • The weather is dangerous: rainy, snowy, icy, foggy
  • Driving through mountainous roads
  • If there are signs indicating lights should be used
  • Just before nighttime hours when the rising or setting sun makes visibility difficult

What Is the Proper Lighting a Car Should Have?

People enjoy building or rebuilding their own cars. If someone chooses to do that or simply to buy their own car, they must make sure the vehicle is manufactured according to Illinois law.

The state says that all cars must have:

  • Two working headlights - one for motorcycles - one on each side of the front of the car and visible from at least 500 feet away
  • Two taillights, one on either side of the back of the car and visible from at least 500 feet away
  • Parking lights - two on the front and two on the back
  • Brake/stop lights that glow red or amber on the rear of the vehicle when the driver steps on the brakes
  • Turn signals to indicate which direction the car will be turning

Of course, there are more mandatory pieces of equipment a car must have before it can be driven, but these are lighting devices that make it easier for a driver to see at night to avoid an accident.

During days of very bad weather, headlights can also be used on high or low settings. “High beams” are good when there is little or no street lighting and the road cannot be seen at night.

What Can Happen if Headlights Are Not Used?

A car that is unilluminated cannot be seen clearly at night and the driver cannot see around them clear enough to avoid obstacles. Some accidents that can happen if head and/or taillights are not used include:

  • The unilluminated car being struck by another vehicle
  • A pedestrian or bicyclist is struck by the unilluminated vehicle
  • The unilluminated car can collide with obstacles or barricades in construction zones
  • Nocturnal animals can be struck by the unilluminated car which can result in major damage to the vehicle

Since it is considered reckless driving, the driver of an unilluminated car will be charged with fines and/or jail time depending on the seriousness of the accident. Also, the driver will see their insurance rates increase after an accident, especially if it is their fault.

A driver’s record is a big factor in car insurance costs. If even one incident - an accident or traffic ticket - occurs, an insurance company can either increase their rates or simply stop coverage on a vehicle.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Lawyer

It is easy to drive at night with headlights illuminated and it is not worth the consequences to drive without them. However, if you or someone you know is facing charges of reckless driving, the first step is to hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola to help defend you against a negative outcome. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County reckless driving lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K12-201

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/vsd840.pdf

https://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/when-to-use-headlights.php

 

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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