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Changes to Illinois Laws Affect the Penalties for Traffic Violations

Posted on in Criminal Defense

DuPage County criminal defense lawyerLaws are put in place at the local, state, and federal levels in an effort to protect society. As technology continues to advance, existing laws may need to be amended to remain relevant and effective. More than 200 new laws went into effect in Illinois at the start of the new year, impacting a number of different areas. Some of this new legislation affects the fines and penalties for various traffic violations. If motorists choose to disregard or disobey any traffic law, they may be subject to criminal charges, depending on the circumstances.  

Punishment for Violating Scott’s Law 

Scott’s Law applies to Illinois motorists who pass any police or emergency vehicle that is stopped along the roadway. Scott’s Law requires drivers to slow down, switch lanes, and proceed with caution when approaching emergency or disabled vehicles on the side of the road. As of January 1, 2020, the fines and penalties for breaking the law increased. Now, the fine for a first offense is $250 and $750 for consecutive violations. The new law also established the Scott’s Law Fund, which hires Illinois State Police off-duty troopers to enforce Scott’s Law. Additionally, the fund develops educational materials to increase awareness of the law and the importance of driving safely. 

Fines Regarding School and Work Zones

In Illinois, and throughout the country, school zones have lower speed limits than other roadways to protect children. Speeding in a school zone can result in a traffic violation. As of January 1, 2020, the fines for illegally passing a stopped school bus doubled, from $150 to $300 for the first violation and from $500 to $1,000 for a second or subsequent violation. 

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) takes work zone safety seriously. Driving too fast or recklessly through any roadway that is under construction poses a significant danger to other drivers and their passengers. This behavior also puts highway workers at risk of serious or fatal injuries. In 2020, the maximum fine for hitting a construction worker in a designated work zone increased from $10,000 to $25,000.

No Streaming While Driving

Illinois traffic law prohibits the use of hand-held mobile phones, texting, or using other electronic communication devices while operating a motor vehicle. However, hands-free devices or BlueTooth technology is allowed for drivers who are 19 and older.

On January 1, 2020, the Illinois vehicle code was adjusted to prohibit drivers from watching videos on their electronic devices. This includes holding the mobile device and using the device to stream video content.

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Attorney

You may think you know all the rules of the road in Illinois, but changes to traffic laws, violations, and penalties are implemented regularly. It is important to understand the laws in order to avoid receiving a traffic ticket. Ana M. Mencini & Associates, P.C. are up to date on the latest Illinois traffic laws, and if you have been charged with a traffic violation, we can build a strong defense to reduce or dismiss your charges altogether. Our dedicated Itasca traffic violations defense lawyers will examine the details of your case to make sure your rights were not violated at the time of your traffic stop. Call our office today at 630-875-1700 to schedule a confidential consultation and find out how we can help resolve your case.

Sources:

https://news.wttw.com/2019/12/17/20-new-illinois-laws-know-2020

https://patch.com/illinois/across-il/25-new-illinois-laws-2020-could-change-your-life

http://idot.illinois.gov/travel-information/roadway-information/Work-Zones/index

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/distracted.html

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