The start of a brand-new year often means the passage of new laws, which may affect certain criminal offenses. New Illinois legislation going into effect in 2021 includes increasing the minimum wage, capping the out-of-pocket costs for insulin, and enhancing the penalties for speeding in the city of Chicago. Beginning on March 1, 2021, any person driving 6-10 miles per hour (mph) over the speed limit in Chicago speed camera zones will receive a ticket. Motorists traveling 6-10 mph over the speed limit will be fined $35, and those traveling 11 miles or more over the speed limit will be fined $100. The city is launched a 44-day warning period that began on Jan. 15. This means anyone caught going 6-10 mph over the posted speed limit will receive a warning in the mail.
Vehicle Fatalities Increased During the Pandemic
Chicago city officials stated the new speeding law was issued in response to a substantial increase in vehicle speeding and traffic fatalities. A study by the Northwestern University Transportation Center last spring found despite a decrease in crashes during the coronavirus crisis, the severity of the injuries sustained increased. Illinois saw an 11 percent increase in vehicle-related deaths in just the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same time frame of the previous year. Traffic analysts figure it was due to drivers who felt like they could go faster since the roads were less congested.
Different locations have different speed limits. For example, highways and tollways allow for faster speeds, while local side streets and other places where children are present are lower. Those areas with speed cameras are marked by signs and typically have a speed limit of approximately 30 mph. School zone cameras are usually enforced daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and cameras in park zones are on from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The special cameras use 3D radar to identify cars that are moving faster than the posted speed limit and then they capture an image of the vehicle.
Penalties for Speeding in Illinois
Depending on the location and the registered speed, the legal consequences for this type of traffic violation can include fines and/or jail time. For speeding in a school zone, fines range from $150 for a first offense and $300 for a second or subsequent offense. Speeding in a construction zone may result in a $250 fine for first-time offenders and $750 for second or subsequent violators.
Anyone who drives between 26 and 35 mph of the established maximum speed limit can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor in Illinois. Offenders convicted of this offense category can spend up to six months in jail in addition to $1,500.00 in fines plus court costs.
An individual who drives 35 mph or more over the speed limit may be facing a Class A misdemeanor charge. This classification can result in up to 12 months of incarceration and up to $2,500 in fines plus court costs. In cases where another person is killed as a result of speeding, the driver may be charged with reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony, with a sentence of 2-5 years in prison.
Contact a Cook County Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Traffic violations can encompass a variety of offenses, from parking tickets to drunk driving to speeding. In Illinois, the punishments for traffic violations vary depending on the severity of the crime. If you or your loved one received a citation for speeding under the new law, it is important to take these charges seriously. A seasoned Chicago criminal defense attorney can help you understand your options for a solid defense strategy. At Luisi Legal Group, we have more than 15 years of experience providing quality legal representation to clients facing criminal charges. Schedule your free consultation by calling us today at 773-276-5541.