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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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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

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Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense lawyerStreet racing could be described as a symptom of “road rage” in that one driver speeds up to not allow another driver to overtake them, thus resulting in both vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed. There are other reasons people street race. Some just do it as a form of competition and entertainment. Whether for entertainment or due to road rage, street racing is considered reckless driving because it puts people’s lives in danger.

Both drivers of the vehicles caught in a street race are putting themselves in danger if the cars collide, but they also put other drivers and pedestrians in danger. There are other people on the road who may not be expecting two cars coming down the road at a high rate of speed.

What Is Street Racing?

According to Illinois law, street racing is defined as:

  • Operation of two or more motor vehicles driving side by side while accelerating in an attempt to outdistance each other.
  • Driving one or more motor vehicles down a predetermined road to compare vehicle acceleration within a specific distance.
  • Using one or more cars to outdistance or overtake another vehicle.
  • Using one or more vehicles to prevent another car from passing.
  • Operating one or more cars to arrive at a destination before another car.
  • Using one or more vehicles to test the long-distance stamina or the drivers.

Most often those who race for recreation will participate on streets that are less used rather than on the highway or another populated road. However, if a police officer comes upon the race, the drivers will still be ticketed and charged with reckless driving.

Those racing as a result of road rage are more likely to cause an accident because they are driving carelessly around other drivers. If an accident occurs and someone involved is injured, disfigured, or permanently disabled the at-fault driver will be charged with aggravated street racing.

Penalties for Street Racing

In Illinois, those who engage in street racing are not the only ones who can be punished if charged with a crime. The owners of the cars involved in the street race can also be punished if they have knowledge of the race and allow it to happen.

According to the law, street race offenders will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense punishable by a minimum fine of $250. Subsequent offenses will be a Class 4 felony punishable by a minimum fine of $500. Additionally, anyone convicted of street racing will have their license revoked.

Those convicted of aggravated street racing will face a Class 4 felony charge and a punishment of a one- to 12-year prison sentence.

Car owners who allow a street race to occur will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class A misdemeanor for any subsequent offenses.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Attorney

If you or someone you know are facing reckless driving charges as a result of street racing, the first step is to hire a lawyer who can help build a defense and avoid a negative outcome. To talk to a Kane County reckless driving lawyer from the law offices of Brian J. Mirandola, call 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-506

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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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Il defense lawyerAccording to Illinois law, reckless driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle with disregard for the safety of those sharing the road. Most often people think of examples such as speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Turn signals were added to vehicles as a safety precaution so that there could be clear communication between fellow drivers. So, failure to properly signal when you are turning or changing lanes is included in the reckless driving law in Illinois.

Why Should I Use My Turn Signal?

It is such a simple thing to do and yet most drivers fail to signal at least once in their lifetime. In a recent study done by the Traffic Law Headquarters, two million crashes a year are caused by simply not using the turn signal.

A turn signal is important because it:

  • Lets other drivers know where you are about to turn or when you need to change lanes.
  • Gives other drivers time to slow down or speed up to get out of harm’s way when you are turning.
  • Lets pedestrians know if you are about to turn onto a side street they may be crossing.

Additionally, a turn signal should be turned off as soon as the maneuver is performed. This eliminates confusion, so other drivers know you will not be turning or changing lanes again.

How Is a Driver Punished When They Fail to Signal?

Since it is included in the reckless driving law in Illinois, a driver can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. This results in a fine of up to one year in prison and $2,500 in fines. If a driver is under the age of 21, the license could be subject to suspension.

According to Illinois law, a reckless driving infraction is considered a felony if bodily harm, permanent injury or disfigurement is sustained by a child or a crossing guard in a school zone as a result of the violation.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Attorney

We all want to be as safe as possible while on the road, but mistakes are inevitable and cleaning up the aftermath can be a messy ordeal. If you or someone you know is in need of a reckless driving defense, a Kane County reckless driving defense attorney of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help. For your free consultation, call the office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

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

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

https://trafficlawheadquarters.com/the-importance-of-using-your-turn-signal/

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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