On January 1, 2020, several changes in Illinois’ traffic laws went into effect. Understanding how the updates affect motorists may help to avoid tickets and other penalties. For example, receiving a third citation alleging a moving violation within one year could now lead to a suspended driver’s license.
Distracted driving has increased with the growth of mobile phone devices. To help combat distractions, Illinois’ driving laws now classify streaming or watching videos while operating a vehicle as a moving violation. A first-time offense may result in a fine of $75.
Increased fines for reckless driving citations
Motorists often develop habits that may cause harm to other individuals on the road. When a law enforcement official determines a motorist willfully or wantonly operated a vehicle with disregard for the public’s safety, the officer may issue a reckless driving citation. As reported by ABC7 Chicago, a motorist may face a maximum $25,000 fine for striking a construction worker in a work zone. This includes highway and toll plaza workers who flag motorists to slow down.
Scott’s Law violation
Illinois’ Scott’s Law, also named The “Move Over” Law, requires motorists to slow down when approaching a stopped first-responder or authorized emergency vehicle. If the lights are flashing, a motorist should steer clear by changing lanes. Failing to slow down or passing stopped emergency vehicles without due caution may result in a maximum fine of $10,000.
If a motorist violates Scott’s Law while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, penalties may include a driver’s license suspension. When a motorist damages property or harms another individual, the suspension may last between 90 days and one year. A license suspension could last between 180 days and two years if bodily injury occurs, and two years if it causes a fatality.
Restoring the right to drive
To restore a driver’s license and possibly avoid or reduce other penalties, a charged motorist may contest a traffic violation. Although the Illinois traffic courts allow for self-representation, an aggressive defense strategy presented by an attorney well-versed in traffic law may help ensure a favorable outcome.