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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 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

 

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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