The cost of a speeding ticket in Illinois recently rose by 60 percent. While state officials acknowledge that higher fines raise revenues for state government, they hope the stiffer penalties encourage drivers to slow down and be safer.
CBS News reports that in September, penalties went up for convictions on a number of traffic offenses in Illinois, including the following:
- Speeding (21 mph to 30 mph above the speed limit): went up from $95 to $140
- Speeding (more than 30 mph above the speed limit): up from $105 to $160
- Running a red light: up from $75 to $120
- Making an illegal turn: up from $75 to $120
- DUI: up from $1,000 to $1,500
While all of these violations pose dangers to other drivers, perhaps none is more dangerous than speeding. When drivers exceed speed limits, they not only break the law, but they put themselves, their passengers and fellow motorists at risk of a crash resulting in injuries or even fatalities.
Speeding cuts down on a driver's ability to react to unexpected road hazards and changes in traffic, making it more difficult to:
- Recognize risks
- Take evasive actions such as braking or swerving to avoid a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian or bicyclist
- Successfully complete an evasive maneuver
A slight increase in speed makes more difference upon impact with another motor vehicle or object than most people might imagine: the force of a crash at 45 miles per hour is twice that of impact at 30 mph.
Those violent impacts take a terrible toll on motorists. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that speeding caused the deaths of more than 11,600 people in 2008, also accounting for more than $40 billion in economic damages that year (medical costs, property losses, loss of income, etc.).
While it's understandable that drivers in densely populated cities such as Chicago get frustrated by traffic congestion, they do themselves and everyone else an enormous favor by obeying the posted speed limits. By breaking the law and endangering others, they take terrible risks and assume responsibility for the devastating damage they can cause.
If a speeding driver has hurt you or a member of your family, contact an Illinois personal injury lawyer experienced in helping injury victims receive compensation for damages incurred. Contact a personal injury attorney to confidentially discuss the facts of your case and receive an evaluation of your legal options.