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Archive for the ‘work-zone safety’ tag

Work Zone Safety is Taken Seriously by Illinois Law Enforcement

May 18th, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Illinois work zone safety, Rolling Meadows Traffic Offense AttorneyIn honor of National Work Zone Safety Week, law enforcement across Illinois put forth effort to raise awareness about exercising care when driving through active and inactive work and construction zones. National Work Zone Safety Week was the week of April 11th 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

Highway construction is a problem that is acutely experienced by drivers in Illinois, especially around big cities. However, road construction is a necessary part of maintaining our highways and byways. As such, it is important that drivers exercise care when driving through a work zones. Law enforcement takes traffic violations in work zones very seriously.

Work Zone Safety Stats

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were more than 4,300 accidents that occurred in construction zones in 2015. Of these accidents, 1,000 resulted in injuries to construction workers, drivers and passengers. There were also 46 fatalities resulting from work zone traffic accidents. More often than not, it is motorists who are passing through a work zone who are involved in traffic accidents. Inattentiveness, driving at too high of a rate of speed, and following too closely are some of the leading causes of work zone traffic accidents.

Work Zone Speeding Tickets

Speed limits are strictly enforced in work zones, and you can get a speeding ticket even if no workers are present when you are caught speeding. 625 ILCS 5/11-05.1 is the Illinois statute for speeding tickets issued for offenses committed while driving through a work zone. It does not matter whether the workers are present in the work site or not, and work zones are one of the few locations where law enforcement is permitted to use radar and lidar detection means to determine a driver’s speed as evidence that the driver was speeding in the work zone.

Work zones are clearly identified as they are required to have posted signage indicating where a work zone begins and terminates, as well as the posted maximum and minimum speed limit. Fines for a first offense can range from $250 to $750. A second-time offense within a period of two years can cost a driver his or her license. Court appearances are mandatory, and dealing with the courts for a traffic ticket can be difficult as there are very specific rules that must be followed. You should consider working with an experienced traffic offenses lawyer to fight your ticket.

Let Us Help With Your Ticket

Traffic tickets can happen to anyone, even the best drivers. When a traffic offense occurs in certain locations, such as in a school or work zone, the associated fines and penalties can be more severe. If you have been cited for a traffic violation, you should contact an experienced traffic offenses lawyer immediately. Please contact a Rolling Meadows traffic offense attorney at our firm for assistance. We will help you throughout each step of your case.

Sources:

http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm

http://www.idot.illinois.gov/assets/uploads/files/travel-information/pamphlets-&-brochures/workzone%20il%20fact%20sheet.pdf

Higher Speed Limit Ushers in New Work-Zone Safety Rules

May 7th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Higher Speed Limit Ushers in New Work-Zone Safety Rules | Illinois LawThe beginning of 2014 brought a change in the speed limit posted on interstates in Illinois to 70 miles per hour from the previous limit of 65 miles per hour. In light of the increased speed limit applicable to roadways across the state of Illinois, a news outlet recently reported that extra safety measures will also apply to Illinois construction zones, including reduce-speed signs and speed-indicator posted signs.

The Effect on Work-Zone Speeds

Studies indicate that on average, a car going 70 miles per hour needs 470 feet to come to a complete stop, while cars traveling at 65 miles per hour need just 405 feet to stop safely. Heavier cars, including trucks and semi-trailers, require even more distance. The safety measures for work zones, including the signs mentioned above, are used in areas where workers are present in an effort to get drivers to pay attention and slow down.

With the new speed limit in effect for just a few months, it is hard to determine what the effect the speed limit has had on work-zone speeds. The short time the change has been in effect is only one factor; this winter’s severe weather and the cool and rainy spring have pushed construction back significantly, making it difficult to measure the overall impact of the change in speed. It is worth noting that the Illinois Department of Transportation opposed the increased speed limit due to safety concerns.

Harsher Penalties

Since 2003, fines have increased in Illinois for traffic citations, including speeding in a work zone, and crashing in a work zone causing injuries or fatalities. First time offenders of work-zone speeding will incur a fine of $375, with a $1000 fine for the second such offense, in addition to a possible license suspension for additional violations. Car accidents that result in work-zone deaths may involve felony criminal charges for reckless homicide.

Despite the increased speed limit, the posted speeds in work-zones are 55 miles per hour, and 45 miles per hour if workers are present. Photo-radar vans are one tool law enforcement uses across the state to ensure speed limits are followed in work-zones. The vans are capable of capturing images of both the driver of a vehicle and the vehicle’s license plate, record the vehicle’s speed, and post the time and date. There are signs to warn drivers that such vans are being used, and the vans are distinguishable by their markings. Troopers send tickets to offenders through certified mail.

Additional Safety Measures

The Illinois Department of Transportation continues to use electronic message boards to alert drivers of construction zones and traffic, and is exploring other ways to inform drivers of traffic patterns through technology. However, frontline flaggers remain as a basic early warning system to identify erratic drivers, get drivers’ attention, and warn of a backup in traffic or other events motorists should be aware of while approaching a work zone. The Department plans on exploring other safety measures and making changes as necessary when the effects of the higher speed limit can be more accurately measured.

If you have been charged with a traffic offense…

It is advisable to contact an attorney experienced in traffic ticket cases. Contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley in Rolling Meadows today for a consultation. We have successful experience representing clients charged with traffic offenses ranging from speeding tickets to accident related fatalities.

 

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