IL Governor Quinn Signs Bill Increasing Speed Limit To 70 MPH

I discussed on this blog
in the past about the bill increasing the Illinois speed limit on interstate
highways to 70 mph. As the  Chicago Tribune reported last week,
Governor Quinn signed the bill into law. Quinn signed the measure despite opposition
from the Illinois Department of Transportation, state police and leading
roadway safety organizations, who feared increased mayhem on the highways,
especially between cars and trucks. 

The speed limit in
Illinois is 55 mph in metropolitan areas and 65 on rural highways. But on
January 1, 2013, Illinois will become the 37th state to approve
limits of 70 mph or higher since the national speed limit was repealed almost two
decades ago. Under the measure, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will
counties could keep their maximum speed limits below 70 mph if they so choose.
Opponents argue that higher speeds will lead to an increase in trafficfatalities and make it more difficult for large trucks to stop to avoid vehiclecollisions.

I believe this is a
legitimate concern raised by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Some of
the most violent auto accidents occur when a 16 wheeler truck is unable to stop
on time and they end up rear-ending much smaller vehicles. The chance for
injuries as a result of these auto accidents are much higher now as trucks will
be driving at higher rates. I will be interested in seeing a year or two of
studies that will tell us whether (a) there are more auto accidents on highways
that have the 70 mph limit, and (b) whether significant injuries and fatalities
rise.

If you or someone you
love has been injured in a Chicago truck accident or Chicago car crash, then
call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384. 

Cook County Traffic Courts To Review Driver Backgrounds Much More Closely

The Chicago
Tribune 
reported last week that the city and county prosecutors are
going to provide traffic court judges with a more detailed driving background
for those charged with speeding tickets. Typically in the past drivers who were
charged with a speeding ticket in Cook County would only have their Illinois
driving record examined before a plea offer was made. As long as the driver had
less than three (3) speeding tickets within a year’s time, then they would be
eligible for court supervision. Court supervision is a limited type of
probation, which if completed (no other traffic or criminal violations within a
set period of time), then the ticket was removed from the driver’s records and
it was not considered a conviction. Typically, a plea agreement involving
supervision also involves the payment of a fine and court costs, and
occasionally community service. 

The Tribune reported that traffic judges will now have
a driver’s complete driving history at their disposal, which will include any
out of state tickets received within the last year.

Under the new process,
which is scheduled to begin next month, county clerk’s office will
electronically transmit the names and driver’s license numbers for all the
minor traffic cases to the secretary of states’ office, which will run the
driver’s name through a national database.

Prosecutors will then
have the information available to present to the judge when the defendant
appears in court. “This is a tremendous leap forward in (judges’) ability to
help keep the public safe by keeping dangerous drivers off the road,” said
Lynda Peters, who supervises Chicago’s traffic court prosecutors.

This creates an issue
for many Cook County drivers who like to speed and are prone to tickets. Three
(3) speeding convictions within a year can result in a suspension of the driver’s
license. Time will tell whether this new process actually leads to fewer
speeders on the road and, more importantly, leads to less car accidents.

If someone you love has
been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident,
then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384

Chicago Officials Deem Speeder Light Cameras Effective

The Inquisitr reported recently that Chicago officials have
come out to say that the much maligned speeder cameras are working better than
expected and could earn the city much more money than they initially
envisioned. Officials in the city are now
preparing to install the programs first permanent cameras at four neighborhood
parks. Those cameras will be followed by eight additional locations, including
three near schools over the next month. The December trial, which included two
companies vying for the city contract, caught 93,000 speeders at four
locations. Based on those numbers and a five-year contract with Chicago could
mean upwards of one million tickets per year or over five million over the
five-year contract. 

The
system comes with a warning for a driver’s first violation followed by a ticket
of $100 if they travel 11MPH or more over the posted speed limit. A $35 ticket
will be issued for second time offenders who travel 6 to 10MPH over the speed
limit.

This is interesting information that The Inquisitr has
reported, but there is almost no comment from the city regarding safety. Are
parks and school areas safer due to these cameras? Mayor Emanual scoffed at the
notion that these cameras were being placed to earn extra revenue for the city.
He has been quoted over and over that these were being implemented to protect
children. I will believe that these cameras are a success once the city or some
independent entity publishes actual statistics that car accidents – – and more
importantly – – pedestrian accidents are down in these designated areas.

If you or someone you
love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago pedestrianaccident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant at
312-588-3384 for a free legal consultation.  

Illinois Governor Quinn Signs Patricia’s Law

I recently wrote about
Kelsey’s Law, which was signed by Governor Quinn earlier this week. The
governor also signed Patricia’s Law that same day, which is another piece of
legislation that affects Illinois drivers. Patricia’s Law specifically
eliminates the possibility of gaining court supervision when a driver is
convicted of causing a car accident those results in a death. Court supervision
is not the same as probation. If the driver stays out of trouble (no further
tickets or arrests) during the supervision period, then the there is no
conviction on the driver’s record. 

According to CBS
Chicago
, t
he
law was named after Patricia McNamara, a Rockford woman killed in a crash
caused by a distracted driver who was given a fine and court supervision in the
case. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White did not believe that Court
supervision was enough when someone is charged with a traffic fatality. “Court supervision is a way by which you get your license back,
and you pay a fine. You may have to do some community service, and I just think
that’s the wrong way to approach how we deal with individuals who have killed
someone on our roads,” he said.

The
new law went into effect this week when it was signed by Governor Quinn.

If
you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or
Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant
for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384.  

Illinois Governor Quinn Signs Kelsey’s Law

Back in 2011, 13 year
old Kelsey Little was walking with two friends in Grundy County, when she was
tragically struck and killed by a 15 year old driver. Shockingly, three days
later the 15 year old applied for and received his driver’s license. This news
shocked the Little family along with lawmakers and Illinois Secretary of State,
Jesse White.

As a result, Illinois
lawmakers drafted and passed House Bill 1009, which was named Kelsey’s law. The
new law, which NBC 5 reports was signed into law by Governor Quinn, prohibits any teen with unresolved traffic
citations from getting a state driver’s license.  Sources said Quinn
supports the proposed legislation. 
The new law would ask the
question: ‘Do you have a pending case in court dealing with a traffic
violation?’ If a teen answers, ‘Yes,’ or is caught lying, White’s office can
then invalidate that license application.

“It’s the kind of commonsense
legislation that will make people of Illinois safer, our lives better and my
family a little happier,” Little’s mother, Nancy Deckleman, said
after Monday’s bill-signing. “Knowing that for everything Kelsey’s been
through that something good will finally come of it.”  The new law
took effect with Quinn’s signature.

This is the type of legislation
that makes the roads safer, and will hopefully prevent other deadly
vehicle-pedestrian accidents from taking place.

Should you or someone you love
become injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago auto-pedestrian accident,
then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a free legalconsultation at 312-588-3384.