April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The Illinois State Police are are partnering with over 200 law enforcement agencies around the state this month to promote traffic safety and bring awareness to distracted driving. April is distracted driving awareness month around the country, and the Illinois State Police’s initiative this year is called “drop it and drive.” That is, put down your phone and focus on the road.

he 200 law enforcement agencies will be doing nothing but focusing on distracted driving. These special officer details that will on a grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”).

According to a personal injury lawyer, around 26,000 people died in U.S. crashes involving a distracted driver between 2012 and 2019. That is an incredible number, which has continued to rise since the advent of the smart phone. I will be interested to see what the number of tickets issued are during the month of April and whether this special initiative will actually decrease the number of distracted driving traffic accidents.

Everyone who has a smart phone knows how tempting it is to pick up your phone while in traffic to check an email or a text. Even a few seconds of looking into your phone can be incredibly dangerous. Along with the Illinois State Police, we encourage you to avoid that temptation and put your phone away while driving.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois’ “Scott’s Law” Turns 18

“Scott’s Law,” enacted in Illinois in 2002, is aimed to protect first responders working in traffic and on roadways. The Law was named in honor of Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department who was struck and killed by a
drunk driver while assisting at a crash on a Chicago
Expressway.

The law specifically applies to drivers who approach a stationary emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing warning lights. The law requires that Illinois motorists must:

• Slow down;
• Drive with caution; and
• Move over to another lane. Reduce speed if changing
lanes is unsafe.

Illinois Motorists who enter a highway construction are must:
• Slow down;
• Discontinue wireless use; and
• Yield or change lanes away from any authorized vehicles
or workers in the area.

If you violate Scotts law and injure a first responder or worker you can face a $10,000.00 fine and spend time in prison.

Despite the law there have been record breaking violations in recent years. Illinois nearly hit a record high in Scott’s Law car crashes in 2019, with 26 crashes. Illinois State Police have addressed the media due to the recent number of violations. In 2020, District One, which covers Lee, Ogle, Whiteside and Carroll counties saw 48 violations. Illinois State Police are urging drivers who see first responders on roadways to remain alert, slow down, and move over.

This seems like common sense. You see an ambulance, police car or fire truck with their sirens on, you immediately pull over. Or if you are on a highway, you slow down and switch to the furthest lane. It’s unclear why drivers continue to violate the law and continue to injure police and first responders with their vehicles. Is it because of phone? Are people not paying attention. None of the media or research I have read indicates whether these are the causes. Regardless, I think there needs to be a public service push to let Illinois drivers know this is still the law, there a life and death consequences and that you could end up in jail.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076

Illinois State Police Renew ‘Click It Or Ticket’ Campaign

According to a motor vehicle accident lawyer, the Illinois State Police (“ISP”) have rolled out their ‘Click-It or Ticket’ traffic campaign for November. State police are focused on motorist safety as traffic congestion has ticked from earlier in the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic shut down.

In November, the ISP will increase their daytime and nighttime patrols to ensure the safety of vehicle travelers through enforcement of all traffic safety laws. 

– Driving Under the Influence (DUI);
– Safety Belt and Child Restraint use;
– Speeding; and
– Distracted Driving

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, impaired driving is a factor in more than 30 percent of traffic deaths in Illinois. Likewise, speeding is a factor in nearly 35 percent of fatal crashes; and, nearly 50 percent of vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes were known to not be wearing a seatbelt. No matter what time of year it is remember to buckle up and put your phone down when you get behind the wheel. You will save your own life and protect your passengers and those around you.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois Governor Signs New Traffic Bill Strengthening “Scott’s Law”

Back in 2002, Illinois enacted a new traffic bill called “Scott’s Law,” which required drivers to slow down and safely change lanes when they see any vehicle on the side of the road with its hazard lights on. The Bill was named Chicago Fire Department Lt. Scott Gillen, who was killed in 2000. This Bill is often referred to as the “Move Over” law.

In a move to strengthen protections for first responders, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed an updated version of this Bill, which now protects protections to include authorized stationary vehicles with oscillating lights, first responders, Illinois Department of Transportation workers, police and anyone authorized to be on the highway for work-related duties.

The new law increases the minimum fine to $250 for a first violation and to $750 for a second and subsequent violations and adds a $250 assessment fee for any violation of Scott’s Law that will be funneled into a new fund devoted to producing driver’s education materials, called the Scott’s Law Fund.

Criminal penalties will increase to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, if a violation results in damage to another car, or a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison, if a violation results in an injury or death. Through the new law, an aggravating factor will be added to reckless homicide charges if Scott’s Law is violated.

The secretary of state also must include a written question about Scott’s Law in the driver’s license test. This new law becomes effective immediately.

Changes to Scott’s Law come after three Illinois State Police fatalities have occurred on the side of the road. Two of the three fatalities came as a result of violations of Scott’s Law and the third involved a wrong way driver.

Let’s hope the changes to this law raise awareness for drivers when they see first responders and road workers on the side of the road to slow down and change lanes. These are workers who are in a position to help protect people, but at the same time are in incredibly vulnerable situations while often times standing on the side of a busy highway.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076

Illinois State Police Cracking Down on DUIs During Summer Months

Summer is finally here and there is more traffic out on the roads than any other time of year. This is especially true over holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Fourth of July. According to a dui attorney, the Illinois State Police and over 160 local law enforcement agencies are planning ahead to prepare for all the drivers on the road and launching “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” campaigns. If you unfortunately decide to drive under the influences and get arrested, then you may need to hire a dui lawyer to help post bail bonds with the help of a professional bail bond agent. Bail bonds can help those who have been arrested and need financial help to post bail.

According to a traffic attorney both of these traffic safety campaigns are made possible by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The crackdown runs concurrently with a media campaign reminding motorists that impaired driving has “Life or Death” consequences.  The safety campaign will run June 17 through July 8 to encompass three summer weekends leading up to and after Independence Day. The Illinois State Police and local police departments have issued the following tips to help make the roads safer, and ultimately save lives:

  • Give your designated driver your keys before you go out.
  • If you are drunk or impaired by marijuana or other drugs, call a taxi, take mass transit, use your favorite ride-sharing service, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911.
  • Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt. Not only is it the law, it’s your best defense against an impaired driver.

There will be a lot more police officers on the roads the next few weeks. This should not be the only reason to be careful before getting behind the wheel. More importantly, you can save the lives of those in your vehicle and the vehicles around you by deciding not to drink and drive, and if you do decide to drink and drive, make sure you know which dui lawyer you are going to contact for legal assistance.

If you or loved one have been seriously injured in an Illinois truck accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant at 312-614-1076 for a free legal consultation.

Illinois State Police Enforcing New “Move Over” Law

According to the Illinois State Police’s (“ISP”) Facebook page, the department is focused on cracking down against drivers who violate the “Move Over” or “Scott’s law.” Enacted in 2017, 625 ILCS 5/11-907 (C), requires drivers drivers slow down, move over to another lane and proceed with caution if a car is stopped on the shoulder.

According to the Facebook post, in emergency situations where vehicles are stopped on the side of the road, the ISP may be placing an extra trooper near an accident to catch people who don’t follow the law. The trooper may be hiding in front of the stopped vehicle or behind another trooper vehicle, making it look like backup.

Violators of the statute will face a minimum of a $100 and up to a $10,000 fine, depending on the severity of the violation. For example, if the driver fails to slow down or switch lanes and then injures someone or causes property damage, then they will face a much higher fine. The ultimate fine is up to the discretion of the judge as there is no sliding scale written in the statute.

The law was enacted in honor of Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver while at the scene of an accident.

Please take caution when you see a vehicle on the side of the road, not just because you will avoid a ticket, but because you could avoid causing a major traffic accident.

If you or a loved was injured in a serious Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

New Illinois Left Lane Traffic Law Now In Effect

I wrote a few weeks back about the new Illinois traffic laws for 2019. I did not mention a new statute that was enacted back in 2017, but went into effect this year. The new law, 625 ILCS 5/11-701, requires drivers to stay within the right lane in two (2) lane highways.

There are several exceptions, which include when passing other vehicles or moving over for an emergency vehicle. The Illinois State Police, who pushed for this new law, stated that the purpose of the provision is to keep traffic flowing and increase safety.
You’re not supposed to travel in the left lane and stay there,” said Lieutenant Matt Boerwinkle, spokesperson for Illinois State Police. “The main focus is to ensure that motorists have a means to get around traffic that should stay in the right lane.” The state police posted the hashtag
#LeftLaneLollygaggersBeware to their Facebook page.

Violators of this new traffic law will be hit with a $120.00 fine.

Should you or a loved become injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois State Police Enforcement Effort Leads To Nearly 6,000 Traffic Citations Memorial Day Weekend

CBS Chicago reported recently that the Illinois State Police’s (“ISP”) effort to crack down on traffic violations over the busy Memorial Day Weekend led to 5,924 traffic citations and 5,206 written.

Illinois State Troopers efforts included 109 drunk driving arrests and 815 seat belt citations.  ISP also provided assistance to approximately 1,300 stranded motorists. “I am very proud of the hard work displayed by the men and women of the Illinois State Police,” said ISP Director Leo Schmitz. “I am confident their enforcement efforts resulted in lives being saved.”

I think these numbers are encouraging, especially as it was predicted that this year would be one of the busiest traffic weekends of the year. Regardless, I would like to see how many of those citations were for distracted driving. Also, I would like to see the Illinois accident numbers compared to those over the last five (5) years. I think this would provide us some context as to whether the ISP’s enforcement efforts are actually reducing the number of traffic accidents.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an Illinois car crash or Illinois truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois Police Departments Implementing 2015 ‘Click It Or Ticket’ Campaign

Illinois State Police along with hundreds of local police agencies around the state implemented the “click it or ticket” campaign, which ran from May 11 through May 25. This time of year officially kicks off the busy traffic season. I did a little research about this program and it was interesting to me to see that the main purpose, according to the Illinois State Police, is not to merely hand out tickets and collect money. The mission of this program is to influence people to buckle up and prevent injuries and traffic fatalities.

According to the buckleupillinois.com website, stated that based on research, certainty of a ticket convinces more drivers to wear seat belts, which in turn decreases injuries and saves lives. Also according to the website, motor vehicle crashes are the number one leading cause of death and disability for Americans between the ages of 4 and 34. You can click here to answer frequently asked questions about “click it or ticket.”

The weather is much nicer but there a many more drivers on the road this time of year. To me, it has always been a no-brainer to wear your seat belt. It shouldn’t matter what time of year or if there’s an increased chance of receiving a ticket. It could actually save your life or at the very least prevent a serious injury.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois State Police Announce Special Traffic Patrols May 12 to May 24

Summer is upon us and travelling season typically picks up around Memorial Day week. There a lot of travelers on the road beginning that weekend and the Illinois State Police are responding. In a press release, the department announced that officers will conduct special traffic enforcement patrols –referred to as “sTEP” between Tuesday, May 12, and Sunday, May 24, in LaSalle County. The troopers will concentrate on speeding, failure to use occupant restraints and other driving offenses as part of their enforcement efforts. The sTEP program involves a combination of increased enforcement and public information designed to raise public awareness and compliance to all traffic laws.

According to the press release speeding is a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide. In Illinois, speed-related car crashes account for over 40 percent of all traffic fatalities.

I would imagine we will see multiple traffic enforcement programs from state an local police over the Memorial Day weekend, which could include DUI stop zones and extra awareness on distracted drivers. As the weather gets nice there are a lot more of us out on the roads, so be safe.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.