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Archive for the ‘texting and driving’ tag

Can Your License be Suspended for Texting and Driving in Illinois?

June 3rd, 2019 at 5:12 pm

IL defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerThe last week of April was Distracted Driving Awareness Week in Illinois, and troopers all across the state participated. Over the seven-day span, they issued a total of 566 distracted driving tickets. The campaign could not have come at a better time, as drivers in Illinois are about to face much steeper penalties if they regularly text and drive.

Current Illinois Law on Texting and Driving

Currently in Illinois, it is illegal for any driver to use a handheld device while driving. This is covered under the statute 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2. This law, which is one of the stricter distracted driving laws in the country, states that no driver shall hold a cellphone or electronic device, including tablets, while they are behind the wheel of a car that is moving.

Under this law, there are only a few instances in which the use of an electronic device is legal. These include:

  • If the device is built into the car, such as a GPS;
  • When using a phone to call for emergency assistance;
  • When a cell phone is in hands-free mode, or the driver is using a headset;
  • Using a phone while parked on the shoulder of the road;
  • Using a phone on the roadway if the flow of traffic has stopped and the vehicle is in park or neutral; and
  • Using a single button on a cellphone to start or stop a call.

Anyone found using a cell phone for any reason, or in any manner, other than those described above faces penalties. Those penalties are also about to become much steeper.

Current Penalties for Texting and Driving

The penalty for texting and driving is $75 if it is the driver’s first offense. This increases to $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth and subsequent offense. In addition to these, the driver will also have to pay court costs. For example, in Rolling Meadows drivers can expect to pay anywhere from $179 to $214 in court costs. This makes the penalty for even a first offense around $300.

While these penalties are currently in effect, they are only going to last for another couple of months. After that time, drivers that are caught texting and driving will face even greater penalties.

New Penalties for Texting and Driving are On the Way

As of July 1, 2019, distracted driving will be considered a moving violation. This is different than the summary offense classification they currently fall under. While the $75 fine for a first offense will still apply, those caught in subsequent offenses will face more than just increased fines.

When the new law goes into effect this summer, those convicted of driving while distracted will have their driver’s license suspended if they have three moving violations within a period of 12 months. Those under the age of 21 face even harsher penalties under the new law. If they are convicted of two moving violations within a 24-month period, their license is suspended.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer and Keep Your License

In order for a driver’s license to be suspended, the driver must first be convicted of the violation. A lawyer can help drivers fight the charges and keep their license.

If you have been charged with a moving violation and now fear license suspension, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help keep it off your driving record. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to learn about the many possible defenses that are available, and how we will use them to give you your best chance of success in court. Call now, or fill out our online form for your free case evaluation.

 

Sources:

https://khqa.com/news/state/illinois-state-police-issue-over-930-citations-during-distracted-driving-week

http://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4846&GAID=14&LegID=110209&SpecSess=&Session=

New Year, New Rules of the Road in Illinois

February 12th, 2019 at 12:04 am

IL traffic lawyerMost drivers believe they know the rules of the road. These rules include driving under posted speed limits, stopping at traffic lights, and following all road signs, such as school crossings. However, many new traffic rules will come into effect over the course of 2019. Drivers need to ensure they are familiar with these rules as well. If they are not and are found in violation of these new laws, they could be facing hefty fines and other penalties.

New Texting and Driving Laws

Perhaps the most important law that will be introduced later in the year is the new penalties imposed on drivers found in violation of texting and driving. This law, which stems from Illinois House Bill 4846, will come into effect on July 1, 2019.

Texting and driving has been illegal in Illinois since 2014. The new law though, will now consider texting and driving a moving violation rather than a non-moving violation. Moving violations are entered into a person’s driving record. When a person is convicted of three moving violations within a 12-month period, their licenses are also subject to suspension. A first offense carries the same penalty of $75.

Children Under Two Must Ride in Rear-Facing Car Seats

Before January 1, 2019, Illinois law required that all children under the age of eight be restrained in a car seat. Previously, the law did not state which way that child restraint system had to face in the vehicle. Under the new law, which took effect on New Year’s Day, all children under the age of two must ride in rear-facing car seats. Children under the age of two and taller than 40 inches in height, or weighing more than 40 pounds, may sit in a front-facing car seat.

Those found in violation of this law will be subject to fines and penalties at the discretion of the officer that pulls them over. These penalties could include $75 for a first offense and up to $200 for a second offense.

Driver Curriculum will Include the “Dutch Reach” Method

While not necessarily a new law, those reading the Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual will now be encouraged to use the “Dutch Reach” method after parallel parking. This method states that when exiting a vehicle, drivers and passengers alike should reach across their body to open the door. This, it is believed, will help prevent more instances of “dooring,” as it will remind those in vehicles to look first for pedestrians and bicyclists that may be in the path of the door.

School Bus Signs Must be Covered

According to Illinois House Bill 3292, when school buses are not being used to transport school children under the age of 18, for religious purposes, or for any other activity not affiliated with a church or school, the “School Bus” sign must be covered or concealed.

In addition, the signal arm and the flashing lights of a school bus should not be operated when the bus is being used for the same types of activities. This law also came into effect on January 1, 2019.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer 

Too many people believe that if they are pulled over and found in violation of certain laws, they have no choice but to pay the fines and face other penalties. This, however, is not the case.

If you are found in violation of any new traffic laws, or any other traffic law, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic attorney that can help. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we can provide you with the legal defense you need to ensure you are not at risk for losing your license or paying large fines for violations you did not commit. Contact us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4846&GAID=14&LegID=110209&SpecSess=&Session=

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=3293&GAID=14&LegID=105016&SpecSess=&Session=

Illinois Legislature Considering Stricter Penalties for Texting Drivers

June 22nd, 2018 at 7:52 am

Illinois traffic offenses, moving violations, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, texting and driving, texting driversIt should come as no surprise that driving with any type of distraction is dangerous to you and everyone else on the roadways. One of the biggest distractions plaguing drivers is the number of drivers who are texting and driving. Concluded in a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting drivers can be six times more dangerous than drivers operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Because of the dangerous nature of texting and driving, and other types of distracted driving, Illinois lawmakers have imposed a bill that would make texting and driving offenses more serious, according to My Stateline. In 2014, Illinois passed a law that made first time texting and driving offenses a nonmoving violation. House Bill 4846 changes this law and makes texting and driving a moving offense. The bill passed in the House and moved to the Illinois Senate for consideration and vote. Bill 4846 was also passed by the Senate.

With the offense classification changing from a nonmoving violation to a moving violation, the penalties for such offense have increased. In Illinois, moving violations result in various fines and court costs. However, a person who received three moving violations in a 12-month period risks having his or her license suspended.

Distracted Driving in Illinois

Distracted driving is a problem across the country. In Illinois, it is not just illegal to text and drive. Any use of cell phones or electronic communications is prohibited while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers over the age of 19 are allowed to use hands-free or Bluetooth enabled devices, but should be wary of the dangers that still exist. Even without physically touching a cell phone or handheld device, a driver is likely taking his or her eyes off of the road and putting himself or herself at increased risks of accidents.

Minimize Distractions

Illinois urges drivers to minimize distractions while they drive. Consider the following tips to help prevent an accident and keep you safe:

  • Do not use a cell phone or handheld device;
  • Only operate a vehicle if you are not drowsy or overly tired;
  • Do not overly populate your vehicle; and.
  • Pull over to take a phone call or adjust the GPS

We Are Here to Help You

Even knowing the dangers associated with texting a driving, there are many drivers who still violate the law. With the harsher classification of a moving violation and the risk of a license suspension, contacting a skilled traffic attorney could benefit you immensely.

Passionate Rolling Meadows defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here to help you with tickets for traffic offenses, including texting and driving. Your driving record is important. As such, you need an attorney who understands that importance and fights to get you the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

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

http://www.mystateline.com/news/new-illinois-legislation-proposes-tougher-penalties-for-texting-and-driving/1128952249

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