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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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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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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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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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