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Increased Fines for Certain Illinois Traffic Violations for 2020

 Posted on December 19, 2019 in Criminal Defense

Will County traffic violations attorneyFederal and state laws are constantly changing for various reasons. In some cases, new legislation reflects an update to the punishment, definition, or statute of limitations for a criminal act. In Illinois, there are 250 new laws set to go into effect on January 1, 2020. These regulations cover a range of crimes, including drug sale or possession, sexual offenses, and traffic violations. Depending on the type of offense, traffic crimes may be classified as “moving or nonmoving violations.” Moving violations are more serious in nature, which could potentially lead to injury or even wrongful death. Although many people view traffic citations as an annoyance, they are meant to deter poor driving habits by motorists. Any changes to traffic laws are generally made to increase the safety of everyone on the roadways. 

Passing a Stopped School Bus

Currently, there are many actions that constitute a traffic violation. Some of the more serious offenses can include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), reckless driving, and operating a vehicle without proof of auto insurance. Specific laws for driving in school zones are put in place to protect children from risks when crossing the street or getting on and off a bus. It has long been illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing, both inside and outside of school zones. Due to changes in the law, the fines for such a violation will increase dramatically in 2020. 

Beginning on New Year’s Day, the penalty for passing a stopped school bus will now be a $300 fine for a first offense. If an offender violates this law a second time, the fine increases to $1,000.

Harsher Penalties Under Updated Scott’s Law

Scott’s Law, also known as the Illinois “move over” law,  was named after Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department. Gillen was struck and killed by a drunk driver while helping at a crash scene. Scott’s Law requires all motorists to slow down, proceed with caution, and change lanes if they can when approaching a police or emergency vehicle stopped along the side of the road. 

Presently, anyone who violates Scott’s Law will face fines starting at $100 for a first violation. If the violation causes injury, death or property damage, enhanced penalties are applied. These fines and penalties will be increased if a driver violates Scott’s Law in 2020. The new fines will start at $250 for a first violation and $750 for subsequent offenses. With enhancements, an offender could be fined up to $10,000. The updated law also created the Scott’s Law Fund. This fund will assist in providing educational materials for the public and hiring off-duty Illinois State Police troopers who will enforce Scott’s Law.

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

Several new laws will go into effect in Illinois starting in January that are designed to help enforce the rules of the road and ensure the public’s safety. At McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC, we understand how easy it can be to receive a traffic violation. Our skilled Will County traffic ticket defense lawyers know the new Illinois laws that are about to take effect and they will explain what they mean to your case. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 815-727-0100.





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