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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerThere are many hardworking Americans who own trucks as their daily drivers. Some use it for off-road adventures, others for the feel of having something larger, and another portion uses it for work and project related towing. However, especially in a few of the newer trucks, you may need CDL licensure to operate your vehicle and avoid a traffic violation, regardless of the purpose of use. While each state regulates many of their requirements, federal regulations are in place for many interstate highways and close to the border.

Does Your Truck Require a CDL?

Most major vehicle manufacturers now produce a one-ton dually for those requiring the durability and ability to pull a house, if necessary. The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 requires many drivers of these vehicles to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License, even if it is not being utilized for commercial purposes. The guidelines for those requiring a CDL include:

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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerCameras accompany many red lights all throughout Chicago and the surrounding area. These cameras are not there simply as a deterrent for breaking traffic laws, they take a picture of the license plate of the vehicle. If the motion-activated camera detects a vehicle operating illegally, it takes a quick snapshot. The photograph is reviewed, and a citation is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. To avoid taking time out of a busy schedule to go to court, many individuals just pay the fine via mail and get on with their lives. However, as with any traffic violation, there may be a defensive strategy for you.

How the Camera Works

Each camera is equipped with a radar detector which senses oncoming vehicles. Once the attached light turns red, the camera takes a photo as well as a video of the back end of the car. A central agency is supposed to review the image for clarity and then pass it along to City’s Department of Revenue for processing. Throughout Chicago, there are cameras for:

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Ilinois traffic violation lawyer, Ilinois defense attorneyIt is no secret that trains have the ability to create a massive amount of damage if any part of their operation goes awry. The fact that a driver is 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train rather than another motor vehicle makes awareness of the safety regulations and laws regarding railroad crossing imperative for safety. Illinois is the epicenter of the comprehensive rail system throughout the United States, with 41 companies currently operating in the state. The number of injuries involving railroads and traffic violations increased in 2015 prompting a crackdown on the laws surrounding railroad crossings.

Statistics Leading to the Increase

The number of railroad crossings in Illinois is staggering. When attempting to do a search of all of the intersections - public, private, and pedestrian - in Cook County alone, we returned with a number greater than 2,500. Statistics of incidents at railroad crossing such as these are as follows:

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Illinois CDL violations, Illinois traffic violations lawyerCommercial truck driving is a profession that entails the handling of great responsibility and also preparing for the safety of everyone on the roadways. Even small errors in judgment can lead to traffic violations, the loss of a commercial driver’s license, serious injuries, or even death. With the addition of poor road and weather conditions, the job becomes increasingly more perilous. Something as simple as breaking too hard can lead to a multiple-vehicle collision when ice is thrown into the mix. It is important to review safety tips for driving in hazardous winter weather conditions to protect the security of drivers as well as maintenance of a CDL.

Frequent Causes of Winter Related Accidents

There are several causations that--if not taken into consideration and properly prepared for--increase the likelihood of a violation or an accident. These elements include:

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Posted on in Traffic Violations

Illinois traffic violation attorney, Illinois defense lawyerObtaining and maintaining your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) comes with important duties. These drivers are responsible for safely operating larger-than-average vehicles and transporting goods and products from one site to another, often across many state lines. In 2015, there were an estimated 10 million CDL holders in the United States, although only about 3.5 million of these have gainful employment as drivers. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that approximately one in 15 of employees is a truck driver. It is a job that is in high demand and pays well. However, with copious amounts of large vehicles on the roadways with the ability to cause catastrophic damage, regulations for operation are becoming increasingly strict. With a single traffic violation, the livelihood of these drivers is at stake due to CDL suspension or revocation.

Benefits to Becoming a Truck Driver

Just as with any employment opportunity, becoming a truck driver comes with considerable positives and negatives. However, those who are drivers seem to find that the benefits of becoming a truck driver far surpass any negatives and are unlike those found in any other field of employment. These advantages are not worth jeopardizing over a legal infraction. Benefits include:

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Posted on in Traffic Violations

b2ap3_thumbnail_reckless-driving.jpgYou may be familiar with the general term “reckless." Perhaps you have heard it, read it, or even used it as a part of your daily vocabulary. However, are you familiar with what the word means with regards to its application to a driving behavior? What does reckless driving mean in a court of law and what are the potential punishments if you are convicted?

Reckless Driving in Legal Terms

Reckless, careless, negligent, and thoughtless are all similar words to describe the same behavior. They are all adjectives to describe an action committed with blatant indifference toward the lives and property of themselves and those surrounding them. In fact, the Illinois General Assembly explicitly defines reckless driving in State Statute 625 ILCS 5/11-503, which states that a person has committed the act of reckless driving if they:

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Posted on in Traffic Violations

Illinois traffic attorney, Illinois traffic lawsSpeeding happens. Occasionally it is intentional, for instance for an emergency or someone is simply late for work. Other times, an individual is lost in thought and is not paying attention to the odometer. No matter the reason, speeding can potentially put the lives of others at risk and Illinois law seeks to enforce harsh punishment to those who are found guilty of speeding traffic violations. When the odds are stacked against you, it is best to guard yourself with legal backup to protect your driving privileges.

The Laws

The law punishes speeding by minors and commercial truck drivers differently than the general driver. Therefore, for the scope of this article, we are focusing just on general speeding traffic laws. Illinois is one of the states that has an “absolute” traffic law. That means that if you even go over the posted speed limit by one mile per hour, then you are in violation of the law. According to state statutes, the basic speeding law states:

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Illinois traffic violations, Illinois defense attorneyThere are several reasons that a person may be pulled over for a traffic violation, but not all traffic violations are created equal and statistics show that not all drivers experience traffic violations equally across the board. Between 2008 and 2010, the ratio of traffic stops to citations stayed relatively constant, though the number of traffic stops has continued to decline slightly each of those three years: The number of traffic citations declined in type.

Despite the highly publicized cases of African-Americans being pulled over for traffic violations without due cause, in Illinois in 2010 the number of traffic violations for which a car was stopped was far higher among Caucasian drivers. The interesting statistic is that the ratio between stops and citations for Caucasians was much lower (meaning less citations were issued) than it was for other races. This means that if you pulled over for a traffic violation and are black or Latino, you are more likely to receive a traffic citation than if you are white. 

There are also interesting statistics when it comes to the reason for the traffic stop. Nearly three-quarters of all traffic stops for Caucasians were for moving violations, compared with 18 percent of traffic stops for equipment malfunction and 8 percent for license/registration violations. These percentages are very different for minorities. Sixty-seven percent of minorities stopped were stopped for a moving violation, compared to 21 percent stopped for equipment malfunction and 12 percent for an issue with license or registration. Minorities were also more likely to be stopped for a longer duration of time than white drivers.

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Illinois defense attorney, probably causeAs of January 1, 2014, Illinois lawmakers passed a law banning handheld devices from all vehicles. With this followed a shift in police protocol. Prior to cell phone usage in vehicles, police focused on speeding among other vehicle traffic violations and, with reasonable suspicion, were able to issue citations. Since the addition of cell phone usage to the prohibited list, officers are on the lookout for distracted driving and the ever present cell phone glow. If they see a driver with their face down and a device in their hand, it presents reasonable suspicion to issue a citation. However, in the electronics age, everything glows and requires our attention, even devices installed in our vehicles. So what constitutes reasonable suspicion for a cell phone related traffic violation?

What the Law Entails

Illinois bans all cell phone use while driving at all for any age. However, as of 19 years of age, drivers are permitted use of a hands free device, including bluetooth, speakerphone and headsets. Yet, even the hands free devices have limited usage privileges. The following locations are illegal to use even a hands free device:

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