The Chicago Tribune reported last month about a new bill that was signed into Illinois law that no longer requires drivers cited for traffic violations hand over their license to the Court as bail insuring they attend court or pay their fine. Up until the bill was signed, certain speeding violations and other moving violations such as causing an accident would require the ticketed driver hand over their license to the police officer as bail. The driver would have their license returned to them by the judge at court after either pleading guilty or after the ticket was dismissed.
Senate Bill 2583, sponsored by Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015. “A driver’s license is an important form of identification, and without it many residents may run into problems during everyday situations when a valid ID is required,” Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement. “This common sense legislation will allow law enforcement officials to continue doing their jobs while letting motorists hang onto a vital piece of identification.”
I think this bill makes sense and held little leverage over the heads of ticketed drivers. Drivers know, or at least soon find out, that failing to show up for court or paying their fine could lead to a suspended driver’s license or sometimes a warrant for their arrest.
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It just became much more expensive this week for Illinois traffic violators. The new Illinois traffic laws went into effect on September 15 The new fines for minor offenses such as speeding up to 20 mph over the limit, running a stop sign or making an illegal turn will carry a $120 penalty, up from $75, under rates set by the Illinois Supreme Court. Topping the speed limit by 21 to 30 mph will cost $140, up from $95.
The increase in fines is the first since 1993, said Champaign County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Ford, chairman of the Supreme Court subcommittee that recommended the increases.The panel investigated the cost of speeding tickets in other states and found that Illinois’ were lower, Ford said. “We were a bargain,” he said.
The set increases apply only to offenses that don’t require a court appearance. The cost of many tickets requiring a court date — such as speeding more than 30 mph over the limit — will also go up. But those hikes aren’t definitive because a traffic court judge decides the fines.
A traffic violation cash penalty actually represents a bond rate set by the state Supreme Court. The bonds for minor offenses are accepted as fines for convenience’s sake, Ford said.
I think it’s fair to say that the increased fines were intaled to raise more revenue for the state but we will see if it acts as a deterrent to drivers and if it actually decreases the amount of car accidents .
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