Illinois Legislature Defines “Serious Traffic Offenses”

DuPage County to Profit

This years traffic code contains a provision which defines cetain offenses as serious.  The question remains open as to what it means.  The statute itself provides a list of traffic offenses:

§ 1-187.001. Serious traffic violation.

(a) A conviction when operating a motor vehicle for:

(1) a violation of subsection (a) of Section 11-402, relating to a motor vehicle accident involving damage to a vehicle;

(2) a violation of Section 11-403, relating to failure to stop and exchange information after a motor vehicle collision, property damage only;

(3) a violation of subsection (a) of Section 11-502, relating to illegal transportation, possession, or carrying of alcoholic liquor within the passenger area of any vehicle;

(4) a violation of Section 6-101 relating to operating a motor vehicle without a valid license or permit;

(5) a violation of Section 11-403, relating to failure to stop and exchange information or give aid after a motor vehicle collision involving personal injury or death;

(6) a violation relating to excessive speeding, involving a single speeding charge of 30 miles per hour or more above the legal speed limit;

(7) a violation relating to reckless driving;

(8) a violation of subsection (d) of Section 11-707, relating to passing in a no-passing zone;

(9) a violation of subsection (b) of Section 11-1402, relating to limitations on backing upon a controlled access highway;

(10) a violation of subsection (b) of Section 11-707, relating to driving on the left side of a roadway in a no-passing zone;

(11) a violation of subsection (e) of Section 11-1002, relating to failure to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian at an intersection;

(12) a violation of Section 11-1008, relating to failure to yield to a pedestrian on a sidewalk; or

(13) a violation of Section 11-1201, relating to failure to stop for an approaching railroad train or signals

The statute means little in and of itself, as no enhanced penalties are included in the new law.  In fact, part c of the statute says specifically the opposite:

c) A violation of any of these defined serious traffic offenses shall not preclude the defendant from being eligible to receive an order of court supervision under Section 5-6-1 of the Unified Code of Corrections.

So why the law.

Well, for years the vehicle code has used the term serious traffic offense without defining it.  It occurs mostly in situations of disqualifications bases on a certain number of these tickets.  This occurs for holders of CDL’s, and new teenage drivers.  The practical upshot is against younger drivers, who are now required to do traffic school in order to get court supervision, which is a disposition you must go to court to get.

The problem is that the fines and fees required under local rule in DuPage County set the minimum fines and fees on any case at about $280 when you go to court, but they can be as little as $75 if you are able to use the mail in program.

Indeed, DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett and the Clerk of the Circuit Court Chris Kachiroubas have been expanding the number of cases that are required to appear in court, thus increasing the income to the county generated by their offices.  They do so under the guise of public safety.

The truth is that no other county does this.  In Cook County there is no penalty for going to court the way there is in DuPage County, ditto that for Will, Lake and Kane.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Crime, crime and punishment, Law, Traffic Law

Tags: , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: