The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola

CALL FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

847-488-0889

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

Last modified on

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

 

Last modified on

IL traffic lawyerTeenagers across the country are excited about turning 16 years old because they will be able to earn their driver’s license and operate a motor vehicle on their own. However, not all of them realize that it is very easy to lose driving privileges and driving with a suspended license can lead to serious traffic violation punishments.

Drivers can have their licenses suspended - or revoked - as a result of many other traffic offenses:

  • DUI
  • Failure to appear in court for a traffic violation
  • Parking restrictions if a driver receives 10 or more parking violations, they will have parking restrictions on their license
  • Automatic suspension issued if a driver fails to pay five or more fines for previous traffic violations
  • Family Financial Responsibility Law, which can be court-ordered for driving privileges to be suspended if a person does not pay their child support
  • Toll violations or evasions

Whatever the case, if a driver’s license is suspended, under Illinois law they are forbidden from driving their motor vehicle.

What Does the Law Say?

The state of Illinois requires all operators of automobiles to have earned a valid driver’s license or possess a driving permit while behind the wheel. Those with permits must have a person with a valid driver’s license riding in the front passenger seat while in motion.

It is also important to note that all drivers must have their licenses physically with them while in their vehicle. If you are pulled over and don’t have your license with you, the officer can write up a ticket for driving without your license.

If anyone is caught driving without a license or permit, they will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and will be issued a Uniform Traffic Citation. This includes licenses that have been suspended. Furthermore, Illinois law says that charges can be increased to Class 4 felony charges if:

  • The offense is a person’s second or subsequent charge
  • The unlicensed driver causes injury to another person
  • The unlicensed driver kills another person
  • And the unlicensed driver is charged with a DUI

Drivers in violation of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license can also have their term of suspension doubled at the discretion of the Secretary of State. Other punishments include serving 30 consecutive days in prison and/or 300 hours of community service.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violation Attorney

Losing your driving privileges can lead to many inconveniences in your life. It can also be difficult to get your license reinstated without the help of a knowledgeable lawyer. If you or someone you know is in need of defending your license from suspension, contact a lawyer from the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola to help protect your rights. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic violation lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K6-101

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K6-303

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/losepriv.html

 

Last modified on

Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois observes a special law when it comes to stopping for an ambulance or any other emergency vehicle. Scott’s Law - also known as the “Move Over” Law - was created in memorial of Scott Gillen, a Chicago firefighter who was struck and killed while assisting victims in a crash. The drunk driver of the vehicle that killed Gillen did not leave enough room when traveling around the accident. If a driver does not obey Scott’s Law or give room to a moving emergency vehicle - such as a police car or an ambulance - they are committing a traffic violation punishable by fines and even prison time.

Why It Is Important to Move Over for Ambulances

If you see an ambulance driving down the road, more times than not they are en route to saving someone else’s life. If their lights are flashing, it is a real emergency and those on the road are required by law to slowly drive as close to the right side of the road as possible. This will give the emergency vehicle more room and a more clear path to their destination.

Illinois law says that other drivers will not only drive on the right side of the road but will also stop their vehicle to allow the ambulance to safely pass. The only exception to this rule is if a police officer instructs the drivers to continue moving at a safe speed.

At the same time, the cars are not permitted to block an intersection. They must still obey the right-of-way rules so as not to cause an accident or collide with the emergency vehicle.

Punishments for Violations

The least severe punishment occurs if a person is pulled over for not yielding to an ambulance. The offender will be fined no less than $100 and no more than $10,000. Other punishments result in more severe cases:

  • If any damage is done to another person’s property during the violation, the offender will lose their driving privileges for a period of between 90 days and one year.
  • If a person is injured as a result of the violation, the offender will lose their driving privileges for a period between 180 days and two years.
  • If a person is killed as a result of the violation, the offender will lose their driving privileges for two full years.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

If you or someone you know is facing traffic punishments after not yielding to an ambulance, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola to build your defense. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-907

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a207.pdf

Last modified on

IL defense lawyerIllinois law says that bicyclists have as much of a right to drive on roadways that cars have. If they choose to ride on the road, they must follow all the same rules that motorists have to obey in their cars.

It is considered reckless driving if a motorist collides with a bicyclist because car drivers must be aware of bicyclists when approaching crosswalks. However, there are situations in which a collision between a bicyclist and a motorist could be the bicyclist’s fault.

Rules for Bicyclists Driving on Roadways

In 2018, Illinois law was modified to make it legal for bicyclists to drive on the shoulder of roadways. The riders would have to obey the rules of the road, use hand signals when turning, and if riding in a group, they must ride single file so as not to take up space on the road for cars.

If a group of bicyclists rides two or three next to each other, there is not enough room for cars to be able to pass safely and the bicyclists will be responsible for any collisions that result in cars attempting to pass.

To keep the roads safe for everyone, bicyclists must:

  • Ride as far as they can on the right side of the road in single file
  • Stay in bicycle lanes when the lanes are marked on the road
  • Use hand signals when they plan to turn
  • Obey the right-of-way rules when at intersections and stop signs
  • And ride in the same direction of car traffic

How Can Cars Avoid a Collision with a Bicyclist?

Motorists should always be aware of their surroundings when they are driving. A bicyclist can suffer serious injury if involved in a collision with a car and the motorist would have to pay compensation for those injuries.

Cars can safely drive near bicyclists if they obey the right-of-way laws when at crosswalks. A car must allow the bicyclist to cross the road at a crosswalk before they can continue. When approaching a bicyclist or a group of bicyclists traveling on the shoulder, a motorist should - when it is safe to do so - merge slightly to the left in order to give the bicyclist room to continue riding.

Motorists who do not give bicyclists enough room run the risk of hitting the bicyclists. This negligence of the safety of others on the road is considered reckless driving punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the offender can face fines and up to one year in prison.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Lawyer

Sometimes it is not easy to determine who is at fault when a collision happens between a car and a bicyclist. If you or someone you know is facing reckless driving charges after a collision, the first thing to do is hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola who can study the case and make sure your rights are not being violated. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County reckless driving lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://rideillinois.org/new-illinois-bike-laws/

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a143.pdf

Last modified on
Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
Back to Top