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DuPage County traffic ticket defense lawyerLaws are put in place to provide for the overall safety of a community and ensure the rights of citizens are protected. These regulations exist at the local, state, and national levels. The state of Illinois saw more than 250 new laws go into effect on January 1, 2020. Ranging from legalizing recreational marijuana to increasing penalties for certain traffic-related crimes, these changes are meant to better protect Illinois residents in a variety of areas. It is important for Illinois motorists to be aware of the significant changes to traffic laws in order to avoid criminal charges that could result from a traffic violation.    

Scott’s Law 

Also referred to as the “move over law,” Scott’s Law requires all Illinois motorists to slow down, change lanes, and proceed with caution while passing emergency or disabled vehicles. This gives first responders whose hazard lights are flashing more room to attend to incidents on the side of the road. It was originally signed into law in 2000 after Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunk driver. 

As of January 1, 2020, the fines and penalties for breaking this law have been increased. A first offense carries a fine of $250, and subsequent violations will result in a $750 fine. The Scott’s Law Fund was also created to produce informational materials as well as hire off-duty Illinois State Police officers to enforce this very important law.

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DuPage County traffic violation defense lawyerYou may have heard the phrase, “Driving is a privilege, not a right.” A person must obtain a driver’s license before he or she can legally operate a motor vehicle on Illinois roadways. The privilege of driving is earned by passing a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) test and agreeing to follow the rules of the road. If drivers do not obey these regulations, the Secretary of State can take away their driving privileges by suspending or revoking their license. In Illinois, traffic violations are usually categorized as “petty” or “misdemeanor” offenses. Depending on the alleged violation, a driver may be able to fight the ticket and have the charges dismissed altogether.    

Common Types of Traffic Violations

Disobeying traffic laws can result in serious consequences due to the danger it poses to other drivers or pedestrians on the road. For this reason, law enforcement officers patrol the highways in an effort to prevent accidents due to reckless or negligent driving habits. Depending on the circumstances, a police officer can issue a ticket to a driver who violates these rules. 

Some of the typical traffic violations include but are not limited to the following:

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DuPage County toll violation lawyer

The Illinois Tollway’s mission is to provide and promote a safe and efficient system of highways while ensuring the highest quality of service to motorists who use these roadways. The system includes the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80), Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway. Drivers on any of these tollways are required to pay designated toll amounts at each toll plaza according to posted signs. Failure to pay the tolls can be considered a traffic violation, and it can result in hefty fines and even loss of driving privileges.  

What Is I-PASS?

I-PASS is a prepaid electronic toll collection system that allows for automatic payment of tolls. Designated “open road tolling” lanes eliminate the need to stop at toll plazas to pay the required toll. Users can register an account online and enter a credit card number to have the tolls automatically charged to the card. Drivers have an incentive to use an I-PASS, since they will only have to pay 50 percent of the regular toll amount when using this method. This can help traffic flow better by eliminating backups due to the need for drivers to stop to pay tolls in cash. For I-PASS holders who respond within 30 days of a violation, the Tollway may remove all the extra fines, so the driver will only pay the actual missed toll amount.  

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Wheaton, IL texting while driving defense attorney

It is common these days to see people using their cell phones while driving, including both talking and texting. However, this is a dangerous activity, and distracted driving has been shown to be a significant factor in car accidents that can cause serious or fatal injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cell phone use contributes to approximately a quarter of police-reported collisions in the United States. Under Illinois law, it is illegal to make a call on a hand-held phone, send a text message, or use any other form of electronic communication while operating a motor vehicle. Recent changes to that law could affect the penalties someone may face if pulled over for this moving violation

Distracted Driving 

Distracted driving refers to driving while doing any activities that take a driver’s attention and eyes away from the road. While the use of phones is one of the most common forms of distraction for drivers, technology has improved in recent years, enabling users to make phone calls without using their hands. In Illinois, hands-free devices and BlueTooth technology are permissible for drivers who are 19 years or older. However, even using hands-free devices can be distracting and endanger the driver, as well as other motorists and pedestrians on the road. If a text or voicemail notification sounds an alert on someone’s phone, this may cause the driver to look down. Even if a motorist takes his or her eyes off the road for a few seconds, an accident can happen that quickly.  

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