Drivers in Illinois face a complex system of penalties every time they get a traffic ticket or moving violation. These penalties can include fines, points on their driving record, and even the suspension of a driver’s license. Plus, convictions for traffic offenses often increase the cost of a person’s car insurance.
Traffic Violation Consequences
One of the most immediate and noticeable results of a traffic conviction is the fine that tends to accompany them. These fines range anywhere from $50 to $350 for most offenses, while more serious violations, like DUIs, can cost $2500 for a first offender. But, Illinois imposes penalties beyond those fines for traffic tickets. The state of Illinois uses a point system to track a driver’s history of offenses. These point values range from five points for driving below the minimum speed limit all the way up to 55 points for reckless driving.
Accruing points can cause serious problems for drivers, especially if they commit three traffic offenses within a twelve month period. If that happens, the state can suspend their driver’s license for a certain amount of time (anywhere from two to 12 months) based on the number of points on the license. Additionally, if the driver has over 110 points on their license the state can revoke their license. Unlike suspensions, which end after a certain amount of time, revocations last at least one year, but may last longer and depend on the government’s discretion.
Traffic convictions also increase a driver’s insurance premiums. One study showed that convictions can raise rates by as much as 22 percent for something like reckless driving, or 11 percent for a smaller offense like speeding. To put that in perspective, the average driver pays $850 a year to insure their car, which means that a speeding ticket would cost about $85 every year on top of the fine and the risk of suspension.
What You Can Do Before Conviction
You can take several steps to avoid the consequences that come along with traffic convictions. Of course, you should always drive carefully and obey the rules of the road. Beyond that, taking a defensive driving may qualify you for a reduction in your car insurance rates. Additionally, contesting the traffic tickets can help you avoid these consequences.
Fighting the ticket in court can severely decrease, and even completely eliminate the penalties that come from traffic violations. And, you don’t have to fight it on your own. Contact an experienced Arlington Heights traffic attorney today. We help residents throughout the area, including Chicago, Crystal Lake, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and Buffalo Grove.