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Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense lawyerAs a driver in Illinois, it never hurts to review the rules of the road. A law that people sometimes neglect or fail to adhere to because of a lack of awareness is Scott’s Law or the Move Over Law. We will explain what it is, why the rule exists, and what penalties a violation carries. If you face traffic law charges, speak with a traffic law attorney. With their help, you will protect your rights and potentially lessen or eliminate any unwarranted charges.

Scott’s (Move Over) Law

In 2000, a Chicago Fire Department lieutenant, Scott Gillen, was killed by a speeding, drunk driver. As a result, the Illinois legislature passed Scott’s, or the Move Over, Law. Its premise is simple: if a first-responder has their siren or hazards on, all drivers in the vicinity need to move to the opposing side of the road and slow down. A significant amount of first-responder deaths each year encouraged Governor J.B. Pritzker to pass a more robust version of Scott’s Law. The new iteration comes with more potent repercussions.

The number of tickets issued for violations of Scott’s Law rose in 2019 because of the enhanced bill. The year 2019 saw around 6,000 Scott’s Law violation citations. A first offense could result in a $250 fine for the accused driver. A subsequent offense leads to at least $750 in fines. Drivers who fail to pull to the side of the road and cause property damage or injury will receive additional punishments: property damage can result in a mandatory license suspension of three to 12 months, and injuring another person leads to six to 24 months of suspension.

Since there are still several first-responder deaths each year, Illinois law enforcement has expressed a commitment to charging those who violate Scott’s Law. As such, remember to look and listen for first-responder vehicles with their hazards on - sometimes, you might not hear them - and pull to the opposite side of the road to keep other drivers, first-responders, and yourself safe. Not only that, but Scott’s Law helps ensure that first-responders get wherever they are called faster and have a higher chance of helping those in danger.

Contact a Kane County Criminal Defense Attorney

Scott’s Law charges carry a lot of weight. Regardless of the circumstances in your case, it cannot hurt to work with a Kane County criminal defense attorney who is trustworthy and has the conviction to defend you in court aggressively. The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola is ready to take your case, so schedule your free consultation by calling 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.wqad.com/article/news/illinois-state-police-see-major-spike-in-scotts-law-violation-citations/526-9aae3100-8b5d-48f3-ba4c-9580f8d4f519#:~:text=Scott's%20Law%2C%20also%20known%20as,Fire%20Department%20lieutenant%20was%20killed.

https://wrex.com/2019/12/23/illinois-state-police-remind-motorists-to-obey-scotts-law-while-traveling/#:~:text=Effective%20January%201%2C%202020%2C%20violators,%24750%20for%20a%20subsequent%20offense.

 

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IL defense lawyerDrivers should always be aware of the legal speed limit when they are driving. Illinois roadways are usually thorough about posting speed limit signs to make drivers aware of what speed they should not exceed.

Simple speeding is a traffic violation that is punished with a ticket to be paid, but aggravated speeding comes with heavier penalties because it is a more serious crime. It is an act that puts the driver and others around them in danger of a collision; therefore, it is possible to serve a jail term after a conviction of aggravated speeding.

Simple Speeding Versus Aggravated Speeding

Illinois law says that aggravated speeding is when a driver operates their vehicle in excess of 26 miles per hour over the legal limit. Everything lower than that - but still over the speed limit - is considered simple speeding.

Police officers patrol and enforce the speed limits with a handheld radar gun which uses wind speeds to measure the rate of a vehicle’s speed. Depending on the miles per hour over the limit, the traffic citation will be costly:

  • Speeding not more than 20 miles per hour over the limit is punished with a fine of $120
  • Speeding over 20 miles per hour, but less than 26 miles per hour over the limit is punished with a fine of $140
  • Speeding at 26-34 miles per hour over the limit is considered a Class B misdemeanor act of aggravated speeding.
  • Speeding over 35 miles per hour more than the limit is considered a Class A misdemeanor act of aggravated speeding

Both misdemeanor aggravated speeding violations come with prison time - up to six months for a Class B misdemeanor and up to one year for a Class A misdemeanor. Fines also become heavier against aggravated speeding violators - up to $1,500 for a Class B misdemeanor and up to $2,500 for a Class A misdemeanor.

Speeding penalties with a school or a construction zone will be elevated as well. Illinois has a minimum fine of $150 for speeding in a school zone and a minimum fine of $250 for speeding within a construction zone.

Contact an Elgin, IL Aggravated Speeding Attorney

Depending on the violation, a driver could also possibly lose their driving privileges as a result of aggravated speeding. It is best to have a lawyer at your side when defending your rights in court. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola have experience defending against a variety of traffic violations. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/speedlimitenf.cfm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-601.5.htm

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IL traffic lawyerIn 2019, the Illinois State Police issued 5,860 tickets for violators of Scott’s Law. This law protects law enforcement officials during traffic stops by requiring drivers to give enough room when they see stopped police vehicles on the road.

Of the violations in 2019, the ISP reported that 27 police cruisers were struck and three officers were killed. In an attempt to protect Illinois officers, the state government amended Scott’s Law so that punishments are more costly to violators.

How Has Scott’s Law Changed?

Scott’s Law was passed in 2002 to protect Illinois law enforcement officers. This past year, there were more violations than in 2016, 2017, and 2018 combined.

Violators of Scott’s Law used to be fined $100 for first offenses, but this year, fines have been doubled to $250. Subsequent offenses will cost no less than $750. Additionally, each violation of Scott’s Law will be punished with a $250 fine that will fund education of this law.

Lastly, drivers who injure or kill any during a violation of Scott’s Law will be charged with a Class 4 felony; punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison term of 1-3 years.

Scott’s Law is not the only traffic charge that was amended starting in 2020:

  • Speeding through a construction zone will now be punished with a fine of $25,000 - an increase from $10,000.
  • Disobeying traffic signals within a worksite will be punished with a fine of $100-$1,000. This is a new law that started at the first of the year.
  • Passing a stopped school bus with its stop sign extended will be punished by a fine of $300 - increased from $100 - for first offenses. Subsequent offenses are punished with a fine of $1,000 - increased from $500.

Other Roadway-Related Rule Changes

The state of Illinois added several other law changes to make the road safer:

  • The distracted driving law was made more specific by officially including watching and making YouTube videos illegal while driving.
  • Chicago-area interstates will have more video surveillance installed in order to make an investigation of roadway crimes easier.
  • Garage and public parking lot fees will increase - 6% daily and 9% monthly - and funds will go towards Governor J.B. Pritzker’s “Rebuild Illinois” infrastructure project.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

It is still early into the year and not everyone has adjusted to the new laws. If you are fighting traffic charges, a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend against major fines. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic offense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-liststory-illinois-new-laws-2020-20191218-k3sjxat7mvgonbbbvyr7anlbja-list.html

https://www.wifr.com/content/news/Illinois-stiffens-penalties-for-Scotts-Law-violators-in-2020-566184421.html

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/local/illinois-doubling-scotts-law-fines-in-2020/63-d9f1e458-8707-4a81-b54b-44ee8cc7a5c1

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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 states 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, 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. As of Jan. 1, 2020, a driver who violates Scott's Law will be fined no less than $250 and no more than $10,000. Other punishments result in more severe cases:

  • A second offense results in a minimum $750 fine. 
  • If any damage is done to another person’s property during the violation, the offender will lose his or her 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 his or her 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 his or her driving privileges for two full years and may be charged with a felony.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

Traffic violations are taken seriously in the state of Illinois. 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 who can represent you and make sure your rights are protected. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic ticket defense lawyer, call us today at 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

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IL defense lawyerKeeping a safe distance away from a driver ahead of you is important because you cannot see what is in front of that driver. If the leading driver has to slam on their brakes for whatever reason and you are too close, that could result in a rear-end collision. That type of collision could lead to serious damage or injury depending on the speed of the vehicles.

For this reason, following too closely is considered reckless driving and falls under the Illinois Reckless Driving Law. A violation of this law can result in a Class C misdemeanor conviction punishable by one year in prison and/or a $2,500 fine.

According to Illinois law, no driver should ever be following behind another vehicle too closely. Drivers need to keep in mind the traffic, conditions, and speed of the other vehicle and know that there is a risk of a collision.

To avoid a collision, slower drivers should travel in the right lane to allow faster drivers to pass on the left safely. If the road is only one lane, faster drivers are expected to adjust their speed to keep a reasonable amount of space between the two cars and then pass when it is safe.

Dismissing Traffic Tickets

If a police officer witnesses an act of one vehicle following another too closely, that driver can be pulled over and issued a ticket. After the traffic stop, a driver still has the option to contest the punishment and go to court. There, the driver has a few options for defense strategies:

  • Once you have your ticket, look closely at the information the officer wrote down while issuing the ticket. If there is anything incorrect on the ticket (name, type of car, etc.) you can alert the judge and the charges could be dropped.
  • The driver can attend and complete a defensive driving course to show the judge that they are working to improve their driving faults. This could reduce the charges.
  • If the driver goes to court, the police officer who pulled them over would need to attend as well. If the officer fails to appear, the case is dismissed.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Attorney

There are two sides to every story and if you are facing reckless driving charges, your first step should be to hire a lawyer. The seasoned Kane County reckless driving lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build your defense strategy and avoid a negative outcome. Call the office at 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-710.htm

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

https://www.idrivesafely.com/defensive-driving/traffic-ticket-dismissal/

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