Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

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815-666-1285

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Plainfield reckless driving defense attorney

It is a simple thing to do, but most drivers have been guilty of not using a turn signal while driving at least once in their lifetime. A recent study from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) revealed that approximately 2 billion occurrences of drivers failing to signal happen every day. On average, 48 percent of drivers fail to signal while changing lanes, while 25 percent fail to signal when turning. Not only is failing to use a turn signal considered a traffic violation in Illinois, but it can also lead to reckless driving charges, because it could lead to collisions. The study from SAE concluded that 2 million car collisions occur annually as a result of failing to signal.

How Does Illinois Enforce Turn Signal Usage?

It is against Illinois law to neglect to use a turn signal while driving. A turn signal should be given at least 200 feet before a turn, and the signal should be used before every lane change. There are other guidelines for drivers to follow in order to keep the road safe for all drivers and pedestrians:

  • At a red light, come to a complete stop before turning unless there is a green arrow on a traffic signal.

  • Yield to the right-of-way traffic.

  • Check for pedestrians and yield to their crossing.

  • Right-hand turners should make their turns as close to the curb as possible, while left-hand turners should complete their turns into the closest lane going in the intended direction.

It is not uncommon for police officers to stop a driver who fails to use the turn signal while driving. In most cases, the action will just result in a traffic ticket with a mandatory fine. However, if an injury or a collision occurs as a result of the neglect, the offending driver can be charged with reckless driving. This offense is defined by Illinois law as any action or inaction that puts other drivers and/or pedestrians in danger of injury or death. People cannot predict the actions of the drivers around them, and if a turn signal is not used, a lane change or a sudden turn can be jarring and can cause a serious collision. Reckless driving is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois that can result in a $2,500 fine and up to one year in prison.

Why Is a Turn Signal Important?

Communication is key when keeping the roads safe, and the only way drivers can communicate with each other while in motion is through their vehicles’ lights, including the turn signal. The turn signal is important for letting other drivers know:

  • You are planning to turn soon.

  • You are about to change lanes (when it is safe to do so).

  • You are about to change lanes because there is an obstacle in the road or the lanes are merging.

When a turn signal is used, the other drivers on the road can modify their driving so that the turn or lane change can be made safely. If this cooperation does not happen, it can lead to frustration, road rage, and collisions.

Contact a Joliet, IL Traffic Violation Attorney

The rules of the road are put in place for the safety of all motorists. In some cases, forgetting to use your turn signal on can lead to a traffic violation and even a car accident. Charges of reckless driving can have serious consequences, especially if multiple incidents occur close together. A lawyer from the Law Office of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help make sure your rights were not violated during a traffic stop. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County traffic ticket defense lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.

 

Sources:

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

https://www.drive-safely.net/illinois-turn-signal-laws/

https://cdllife.com/2014/sae-study-reveals-startling-impact-neglectful-turn-signal-use/

 

Will County traffic violation defense lawyer

Every state has rules when it comes to approaching and passing stopped school buses while they pick up or drop off students. Illinois law states that all drivers must stop when they see a school bus that has its safety bar outstretched, its lights flashing, and its stop sign engaged. The only exception to the rule is when the school bus is stopped on a four-lane highway. In this case, traffic moving in the other direction can proceed without stopping. Failure to stop and keep the road safe for crossing children can lead to fines and suspension of a person’s driver’s license. However, should an accident occur during an illegal pass, the offender could face more serious felony charges.

How Is Illinois Keeping Bus Stops Safer for Kids?

It does take time for a school bus to pick up its young passengers, and some drivers can get impatient waiting for the bus to proceed. Other drivers could be distracted and not even realize that they are recklessly putting a child’s life in danger by driving around the bus.

Whatever the reason, it is unlawful for a driver to pass a stopped school bus, and it is dangerous to the children who could be crossing the street to get to their bus. Illinois punishes traffic violators by:

  • Making first offenders pay a $150 fine

  • Making subsequent offenders pay a $500 fine

  • Suspending driving privileges for three months for first offenses

  • Suspending a driver’s license for one year if a second offense occurs within five years of the first violation 

Since many drivers tend to just keep driving if they illegally pass a stopped school bus, the busses are equipped with front-facing cameras to capture license plates and any other images that can help identify the owner of a vehicle that passes the bus illegally. If the owner of the car was not the person driving at the time of the incident, he or she must provide the contact information of the person who was driving. If the owner cannot, he or she will be the one facing the consequences.

What if an Accident Occurs?

While waiting a few extra minutes for children to get on a school bus may be frustrating for a person who is in a hurry, the time saved by passing a bus illegally is not worth putting children at risk. Children have been struck, hurt, and sometimes killed by motorists who were too impatient to wait. Drivers who commit this type of offense may face severe charges, such as:

  • Aggravated Assault: This felony offense can be charged if a child is struck by a car when the accident could have been avoided. The driver, if convicted, will face a Class 3 or Class 4 felony, depending on the circumstances of the situation.

  • Involuntary Manslaughter (Reckless Homicide): This felony offense can be charged if a child is killed by a driver who is performing a reckless act that results in the death. Charges can be elevated to “aggravated” if the offense occurs within a school zone. The convicted offender will face Class 2 or Class 3 felony charges, depending on whether or not the offense is considered “aggravated.”

In addition to criminal charges, the offending driver could also face lawsuits for damage to property that occurred during the violation. He or she may also be required to pay compensation for a victim's medical bills and pain and suffering, as well as the grief and sorrow of the family members of a child who is killed.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Nothing is worth the death of a child. If a driver strikes a child, or even just illegally passes a school bus, it can change the lives of everyone involved. The family members of the child will have to grieve their loss, while the offending driver will face serious punishments for his or her actions. The experienced lawyers at Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help those motorists who are facing charges after allegedly passing a school bus illegally. To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Will County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 815-666-1285.

 

Sources:

https://www.isp.state.il.us/media/pressdetails.cfm?ID=15

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K9-3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-2

 

Plainfield traffic violation attorney speeding ticket Generally, we like to drive to our daily destinations as fast as we can, and sometimes, there are reasons we need to be quick. Unfortunately, exceeding the posted speed limit can result in a driver being pulled over and issued a speeding ticket.

Speeding is a traffic violation that can have serious consequences. According to the Illinois State Police, 32 percent of all fatal car accidents are caused by drivers disobeying the speed limits. In some cases, speeding violations occur because of driver ignorance, but in others, drivers may violate speed limits because of the lack of proper signage on the road. Drivers should be sure to understand the traffic laws in Illinois and the potential penalties for a violation.

How Fast Should I Be Driving?

Each type of road has a maximum speed limit under Illinois law. If there are no speed limit signs present, drivers are responsible for knowing the proper speed based on the type of road and the conditions they encounter. The speed limits for different kinds of roads in Illinois include:

  • 65 miles per hour on interstate highways and some four-lane highways outside urban areas
  • 55 miles per hour on other highways outside urban areas
  • 30 miles per hour on urban roads
  • 15 miles per hour in urban alleys

These speed limits should be followed at all times. In addition, there are some exceptions that can change the legal speed limits, including:

  • Construction zones: Illinois law says that motorists should reduce their speed and change lanes to provide safety for workers. At some construction sites, signs are posted stating the consequences of hitting a worker to remind drivers to reduce their speed.
  • Emergency vehicles: When a driver is approaching an emergency vehicle, they are required to reduce their speed and change lanes to accommodate the vehicle. If there is an ambulance approaching, drivers should pull over to the right lane to give the ambulance as much room as possible.
  • School zones: While the speed limit in residential areas is typically 35 miles per hour, during the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays, drivers are required to drive 20 miles per hour in a school zone. They must also yield to children who are crossing the road.
  • Funeral processions: Motorists must yield to cars in a funeral procession and must never drive between the cars marked as part of a procession. Cars will have an orange sticker in their windshield with their emergency blinkers lit so other motorists will know they are part of the procession.

What Happens if I Am Pulled Over for Speeding?

Illinois police typically use a hand-held radar device for measuring the speed of motorists as they pass. If the speed measured exceeds the speed limit, an officer may pull the driver over and issue a ticket based on how fast the driver was traveling. Violations will typically result in fines, and multiple violations can result in the suspension of a person’s driver’s license. In some cases, a driver may face criminal charges and jail time if another person is injured or killed in a collision that was caused by speeding.

The consequences for a speeding violation in Illinois are:

  • 1-20 miles per hour over the speed limit is a $120 fine.
  • 21-25 miles per hour over the speed limit is a $140 fine.
  • 26-34 miles per hour over the speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor, which can be punished by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,500.
  • 35 miles per hour or more over the speed limit is a Class A misdemeanor, which can be punished by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Contact a Will County Traffic Violations Lawyer

Drivers can make mistakes, even when they are taking the proper steps to follow the rules of the road. If you are facing a traffic violation that affects your license and your ability to drive, a Joliet traffic ticket lawyer from Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can examine your case and help you build a defense. For your free consultation, call our office at 815-666-1285.

Sources:

  • http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh
  • https://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/speedlimitenf.cfm
  • https://www.drive-safely.net/illinois-speed-limit-laws
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