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Myers Law LLC

Traffic Violations

IL traffic lawyerIf you grew up in the United States, you can probably remember the excitement of your teenage years when you finally turned 16 and were able to get your driver’s license. Though that feeling of independence is important in many teens’ lives, we know that teenagers do not always make the best decisions; studies have shown that the brain of young adults is not actually finished developing until their mid-twenties. Because of information like this and statistics involving teen crashes and driving habits, many states have developed strict teen driving programs and specific penalties for teens who break the rules.

Graduated Driver Licensing Program

The state of Illinois requires teens to follow a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program before they can get their driver’s license. The program consists of three phases, each giving the driver more freedom as they gain more experience. The phases of Illinois’ GDL program are as follows:

  • Permit Phase (Age 15): During this phase, the teen must have a parent or guardian with them at all times while driving. They must also hold their permit for a minimum of nine months before they can get their initial driver’s license. During those nine months, the driver must not receive any driving infractions, underage alcohol convictions or court supervision.
  • Initial Licensing Phase (Ages 16-17): This phase begins after a driver successfully completes the permit phase. During this phase, the driver is subject to curfew hours and must not have more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 20 unless that passenger is an immediate family member. The driver must maintain a conviction-free driving record for at least six months prior to turning 18 to obtain full driver’s license privileges.
  • Full Licensing Phase (Ages 18-20): Once a driver turns 18, they are permitted to have full driver’s license privileges, though they are still subject to certain rules that drivers out of the GDL program are not. For example, any driver who is under the age of 19 is not permitted to use a cell phone while driving, including using hands-free mode.

 How Can a Traffic Violation Affect Teen Driving Privileges?

Receiving a traffic violation during the GDL program can affect your driving privileges in the following ways:


IL traffic lawyerBeing pulled over by a police officer while you are driving is not an uncommon occurrence. According to a study conducted by the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were nearly 2.5 million traffic stops conducted in 2018. Police can pull you over for a variety of reasons, including moving violations, equipment violations, and even license or registration violations. Traffic stops tend to be quickly completed, so many people are left with questions after they have received a traffic citation. Here are a few of the most common questions people have about Illinois traffic violations.

What Do I Do If I Am Pulled Over?

The most important thing to remember if you are pulled over is to cooperate with the police officer. Officers do not take kindly to combative or argumentative drivers. Your attitude about the traffic stop can be the difference between you getting a ticket and you being let off with a warning.

If you are being pulled over, you should make sure you find a safe spot to pull over. Roll your windows down and keep your hands visible by placing them on the steering wheel or in your lap. Do not reach for your license, registration or proof of insurance until the officer asks you to do so. If the officer decides to issue you a ticket, accept the ticket and contest it later.


IL traffic attorneyAccording to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 37,000 traffic fatalities in 2017. Of those more than 37,000, 26 percent or around 9,700 people were killed in speeding-related traffic accidents. Though the number of speeding-related deaths decreased between 2016 and 2017, speeding remains high on the list of causes of fatal traffic accidents. Because of this, Illinois state and local law enforcement are always on the lookout for drivers who are speeding or otherwise endangering others who are on the road. If you are caught speeding, you could face serious fines or even jail time in some cases. This is why a knowledgeable Illinois speeding ticket attorney can come in handy.

Hand-held Speed Measuring Devices

Many people have been pulled over for speeding before. First, the typical question is asked, “do you know how fast you were going?” If your answer is no, then the officer will tell you how fast they “clocked” you at. What exactly does that mean? The most commonly used way of determining whether or not a vehicle is speeding is by using a hand-held device. These can either be radars or laser devices, both of which can accurately determine the speed of a moving vehicle by using either radar waves or bouncing a laser off of a moving vehicle.

Photo Enforcement

Illinois work zones tend to be dangerously common places for speeding to occur. When a work zone is active, Illinois State Police will ensure photo radar enforcement equipment is in place and operating correctly. The photo speed enforcement will only be active during times when workers are present in the work zone, day or night. You will not be pulled over if you are caught speeding in a work zone; rather, you will be mailed a ticket within 14 days of the offense. You then will be required to appear in court and pay the $375 fine for a first offense or a $1,000 fine for a second offense.


IL traffic attorneyIn today’s world, there is so much more that exists that can distract a driver than ever before. While distractions like outside objects such as billboards and crash sites and internal distractions such as the radio and other passengers have been around for decades, the 21st century has also brought with it unique distractions that have become a very large problem over the past two decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30,000 people were killed and an estimated 319,000 people were injured in car accidents involving a distracted driver in 2015.

Cell phones and other hand-held devices have been the subject of much of the conversation around distracted driving. Most states -- Illinois included -- have adopted strict laws in an attempt to curb the dangerous and deadly habit of using your cell phone while driving. When it comes to people who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the rules are even more strict and the penalties more severe.

Texting and Driving

The Illinois Vehicle Code states that a person driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is not permitted to text while they are driving. In addition, a person’s motor carrier may not require its drivers to text while they are driving. If you are caught violating this rule, you will receive 20 points on your driving record. After three violations within a 12-month period, your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked.


IL defense lawyerIn the state of Illinois, there are dozens upon dozens of things you could receive a traffic ticket for. Maybe you thought you could beat the yellow light and you ended up running a red light instead. Maybe you were not watching your speed and you were caught going 10 miles per hour over the limit. Whatever the offense, most of the time when a police officer pulls you over, you will probably only receive a ticket for a moving violation. In certain circumstances, you may be pulled over because you committed a more serious offense. One of the more serious traffic offenses you can be charged with is reckless driving. Reckless driving is more than just a traffic ticket -- you can be charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony crime, depending on the circumstances.

What Constitutes Reckless Driving?

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, a person can commit reckless driving in one of two ways:

  • By driving a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or their property; or
  • By knowingly driving a vehicle and using an incline in a roadway to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

As you can see, there are not really any specific actions that constitute reckless driving. It is up to the discretion of the arresting police officer and the judge to determine whether or not reckless driving has taken place. Examples of reckless driving may be:


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