Plenty of drivers in Illinois follow the rules and do their best to not break traffic laws. But of course, nobody is perfect. Drivers break the law every day, and some don’t even know that they’re doing something illegal. Or worse—they don’t care.
If you’re a driver and you don’t know every state traffic law, you should read the Illinois Vehicle Code and Illinois traffic offense list to know more about rules you need to follow every time you’re behind the wheel. While there are numerous laws broken by drivers that we could cover, below are the top five traffic laws broken by Illinois drivers.
Driving Without a License or Insurance
Even if you’re just going a block down the street, the Illinois rules of the road declare that you must have a valid driver’s license to legally drive in the state. On top of that, you are required to have your license on you at all times when you are driving. You are also required to have proof of car insurance when you are driving a vehicle. If you are stopped and do not have either of those things, your license could be suspended or revoked, according to vehicle codes 6-101 and 3-707(c-1).
Failure to Stop
Even though you are supposed to come to a full stop at a stop sign, many drivers choose to just slow down, then roll through the intersection without stopping. When you’re in a rush or distracted, you might not even realize you didn’t come to a complete stop. But this is against the law and can be very dangerous.
At a stop sign or stop light, you are required to stop before the white line that marks the beginning of the intersection. If there is no line, you are supposed to stop before the crosswalk. According to Vehicle Code 11-903, you can get up to 20 points on your license if you get caught. If you don’t stop when you are supposed to, you could hit a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or another motorist.
As we rely on cell phones more and more, distracted driving becomes an even bigger problem than it was prior to this technology. Whether you’re talking on the phone, texting, or just daydreaming, distracted driving can easily turn deadly. Vehicle Code 12-610.2(b) lists using an electronic communication device could result in the suspension or revocation of your license, even after your first violation.
Drivers are prohibited from using handheld cellphones for calling or texting, and only drivers 19 years of age and older are allowed to use hands-free devices. Illinois rules of the road state that the only times a driver may use a cellphone that is not hands-free are to report an emergency situation, if they are parked on the shoulder, or while stopped from normal traffic is obstructed and the vehicle is in park or neutral.
As everyone knows, driving above the speed limit is against the law. It doesn’t matter if you’re running late or need to get somewhere quickly, you need to abide by the posted speed limit. Speeding puts yourself and other drivers in danger because it increases the risk of accident, and usually reduces your reaction time to situations on the road. It’s also an offense that you can get pulled over and fined for.
There are increments of points awarded to your license depending on how far above the speed limit you drive, and the circumstance of the speeding. According to Illinois Vehicle Code 11-601(b), points start for 1-10 mph over the speed limit, and then increase up to 15, up to 25, and more than 25 mph over the limit. You can receive up to 50 points for speeding. But if you’re in a school zone or construction zone, you can receive up to 55 points, depending on the situation.
Failure to Signal
Some drivers don’t believe that the people around them need to know where they are going, so they don’t signal when they’re turning or changing lanes. But that’s the point of turn signals. They are there to alert other drivers about where you’re going so that they can anticipate your movements. When you don’t signal, drivers around you have no idea where you’re going, and can’t get out of your way. This can cause serious accidents.
Under code 12-208(b), not using your turn signal is illegal and counts as 5 points on your license. The rules of the road state that drivers in a business or residential area must turn on their signal at least 100 feet before turning, and 200 feet in other areas. When you don’t signal, you put everyone in danger.
Do You Need an Illinois Car Accident Lawyer?
Each of these offenses are dangerous in their own right, but most of them could very realistically lead to a serious car accident. Prince Law Firm in Marion can help when you’ve been injured in a crash from another driver breaking the law. You deserve representatives who will fight for you during this time when you need to focus on recovery. Reach out today so we can handle the legal side of things for you.