Articles Posted in Speeding

An electronic insurance verification program may soon be implemented in Illinois. This program will make it much easier for officers to catch those driving without car insurance. In 2014, the Illinois legislature established a committee to design the program, which will likely include a computer database that would be accessible to law enforcement during traffic stops. The system would allow officers to ensure you are up to date on your monthly insurance payments. Often, individuals make a down payment on their insurance, receive their insurance card, and do not follow up on monthly payments, allowing their coverage to lapse while retaining the card showing that they are insured. As of now, in order to ensure you are currently covered by insurance, officers must call the insurance company.

It is expected that the Secretary of State will adopt the rules for the program by 2016. The agency has estimated that of the 9 million licensed drivers in Illinois, 6% are uninsured.

Michigan has recently adopted a similar program, allowing police to access information on whether a vehicle is insured by running the license plate through their computer. Michigan insurance companies are required to transmit policy information twice a month, so the information provided to officers is reasonably accurate.

1. The liability of parents for underage drinking no longer only applies to residences or private property. State law will be expanded in 2015 to penalize parents who allow those under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in vehicles, trailers, campers or watercrafts under their ownership or control. Parents will face a fine of up to $2,000. If a death results, parents can face a felony charge.

2. The Illinois Tollway Authority will now have the authority to increase the speed limit to 70 mph on interstates in urban areas. The law previously passed in 2013 allowed for a 70 mph speed limit only in rural areas.

3. Individuals, including children, who suffer from seizures will be permitted to be treated with medical marijuana. Although the specific rules and regulations regarding children are not finalized, it is likely that the child will be required to obtain written certification from two doctors.

A new Illinois law eliminates the requirement that drivers post their license as bail for certain traffic tickets. The “Sign and Drive” law (Senate Bill 2583) permits the driver’s signature on the traffic citation to guarantee their appearance in court or payment of required fines.

Under the new law, the Secretary of State may still suspend the driving privileges of those drivers who fail to comply with the citation. Driver’s are no longer required to hand over their driver’s license, which for many is the only form of identification they carry. The new law, signed by Gov. Quinn on Saturday, is effective immediately.

Drivers won’t need to hand over license as bail for traffic offenses, www.chicagotribune.com, August 10, 2014

On Sunday, Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law restricting police departments from imposing ticket quotas on officers in Illinois. The Governor stated that officers should “not be forced to ticket motorists to satisfy a quota system” and explained that the new law will “prevent motorists from facing unnecessary anxiety when they encounter a police vehicle.” The new law applies to all ticket types including traffic tickets (i.e. speeding tickets) and parking tickets. The new law even extends to hunting and fishing citations.

Effective immediately, officers in Illinois cannot be required to issue a certain number of citations within a specific timeframe. The new law also prohibits a county or municipality from comparing the number of tickets issued by one officer to another officer for purposes of evaluating job performance. While critics argue that the law restricts departments from holding officers accountable for performance, supporters believe the law allows officers with the freedom to do their job protecting the public.

Gov. Quinn signs bill banning ticket quotas for police, www.suntimes.com, June 15, 2014

Final notice was given by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office Wednesday before the new automated speed cameras near parks and schools we begin issuing real tickets. Some of the cameras have been running under a grace period over the last couple of months but will soon be switching to enforcement mode as early as Wednesday. However, it is now reported that speeders will be given a second chance. The system will send a warning ticket first and the driver is only fined on a second offense.

According to city officials, a $100 fine will be imposed for speeds of 11 mph or more over the limit during the initial phase. Drivers will not yet be ticketed for driving 6 to 9 mph over the limit. Drivers traveling at exactly 10 mph over the limit may face a $35 fine at this time. The city will gradually lower the speed threshold and those speeding 6-10 mph will face a $35 fine.

During the 45-day grace period, the first nine cameras near four city parks issued 222,843 warnings. According to the Tribune, if real tickets, they would reportedly have generated $13.3 million. Projected over an entire year they would have generated $106 million. City City officials argue that revenue will drop as drivers change behavior. They cite statistics demonstrating that warnings issued by the first 9 cameras decreased by 43% within the first two weeks of operation. Enforcement hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday in school zones and from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week near parks.

Driver’s charged with traffic offenses in Cook County should be aware of a new court initiative. Beginning in September, Cook County will provide comprehensive Secretary of State data to prosecutors on minor traffic court calls. Previously, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office used recidivism sheets which only provided data from an offender’s Cook County county court record.

The new recidivism sheets will contain an offender’s Illinois Secretary of State driving record which includes out-of-county and potentially out-of-state traffic violations. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office already has full Secretary of State data for major traffic court calls (i.e. DUI, driving on suspended license, etc.). Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County Timothy Evans reportedly facilitated an agreement between representatives of the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court and the Illinois Secretary of State.

New Cook County court initiative aimed at keeping dangerous drivers off the road, Illinois Lawyer Now, www.isba.org, August 23, 2013

Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation Monday that will raise the speed limit on rural interstates to 70 mph. Quinn overcame opposition from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police, bringing Illinois law in line with neighboring states. Current speeding laws mandate 55 mph in metropolitan areas and 65 on rural highways. The new law allows the six-county Chicago region (Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, McHenry and Will) to keep maximum speed limits below 70 mph. Concerns about maintaining continuity between all surrounding counties have been raised. Interstates that run through multiple counties could have varying speed limits along different stretches. Additionally, critics argue that safety concerns have been ignored in favor of a decision that is politically popular. The new law becomes effective January 1, 2014.

Speed limit on Illinois’ rural highways to hit 70, www.chicagotribune.com, August 20, 2013

A 30-year-old Chicago woman was charged with driving under the influence and nine counts of child endangerment after her SUV rolled over on I-57 early Friday. The children, some without seatbelts, ranged in age from 3 to 14. According to the Illinois State Police, four of the children in the vehicle are believed to be hers. The crash happened on the South Side of Chicago near 99th Street around 12:20 a.m. Witnesses claimed that the SUV was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed in the southbound lanes of I-57 before rolling over onto the right embankment. Nine children and two adulta were hospitalized. A couple of the passengers were reported to be in serious-to-critical condition but, fortunately, none of the injuries were described as life-threatening. Tonica S. Conwell is facing DUI, child endangerment, and child-restraint charges. Illinois State Police are continuing their investigation.

Mom charged with DUI after kids hurt in SUV rollover, www.chicagotribune.com, August 2, 2013
DUI charges filed in I-57 crash that injured 9 children, www.suntimes.com, August 2, 2013

A five-year contract to install speed cameras in Chicago was finalized by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration last week. The $67 million contract allows the installation of up to 300 cameras designed to catch speeders around city schools and parks. As few as 50 locations could be in operation this year due to a slow rollout. According to a city spokesman, cameras may be installed as early as August and speed camera tickets may be issued as early as September. Emanuel projects $15 million in revenue this year. The cameras are permitted by city ordinance to be installed within one-eighth of a mile of city schools and parks. However, in effect, the cameras could cover roughly half of the city.

The contract the city may buy or lease each $98,000 camera system from American Traffic Solutions, Inc. The city’s intent is to lease the systems, and pay ATS $3,750 a month to maintain and operate each camera. The purchase option would result in a $2,900 per month fee. The contract includes three two-year extension options.

Speed camera tickets may start in September, www.chicagotribune.com, July 18, 2013

“Julie’s Law”, effective July 1, 2013, is another step toward stricter traffic laws in Illinois. The new, harsher Illinois speeding law was signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on July 20, 2012. Under the new law, drivers caught speeding more than 30 mph over the posted speed limit on highways or 25 mph over in urban areas are no longer eligible for court supervision. The new sentencing law comes after laws criminalizing aggravated speeding (i.e. more than 30 mph over the limit) became effective January 1, 2011.

Court supervision is a non-conviction disposition commonly handed down to drivers with clean records. Because court supervision is not reported on a driver’s public record, the offense does not result in license consequences (i.e. suspension). In addition, court supervision is not reported to insurance providers and, in turn, does not cause rate increases. Because court supervision is no longer a legal sentence for these offenses, a conviction is the only possible sentence after a plea of guilty or finding of guilty after trial.

For more information on traffic ticket suspensions click here.

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