CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)
Top CDL Traffic Violation Tickets in Illinois (2018)
It is critical for a CDL driver to seek legal help in order to avoid the risk of losing driving privileges and future loss of income. It is very important for a CDL driver not to mail in payment and not to ask for traffic safety school for any serious moving violation ticket. If a CDL driver receives Court Supervision doing so will only result in a conviction on the driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR). Moreover, a CDL driver would have to make arrangements to attend traffic school in the county of the State the traffic ticket was issued. Serious violations can increase insurance rates, result in a disqualification, or suspension of CDL driving privileges, and violations on your company’s DOT report.
Two serious moving violations in any 36-month period will result in your CDL being suspended for a minimum of two months.
The following are some of Illinois’ serious traffic violations for CDL drivers:
Speeding 15mph or More Than The Posted Speed Limit Ticket.
Speeding 15mph or more above the legal posted speed limit is considered a serious traffic violation and faces the risk of a disqualification. Speeding 26mph or more above the legal speed limit is considered criminal aggravated speeding in Illinois 625 ILCS5/11-601.5
Unsafe Lane Change Ticket
A driver must keep a vehicle driven entirely within the single lane of travel as much as practicable. No change of lane shall be made without first making certain such movement is safe 625 ILCS 5/11-709(a). Violations arise when vehicles start to drift over and across the lines of their lane of travel. CDL drivers must stay alert to keep their vehicles within their lanes. A finding of guilty to this charge opens the CDL driver to a risk of disqualification.
Improper Lane Use Ticket
Illinois roadways that have 4 or more lanes for moving traffic and provide for 2 way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall be driven in the right hand lane of traffic 625 ILCS 5/11-701. A finding of guilty to this charge opens the CDL driver to a risk of disqualification.
Cell Phone Use
Driving and talking on a cell phone without hands free or head device is prohibited 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(d)(3). This is considered a serious offence for the CDL driver.
Distracted driving is any activity that pull’s the driver’s attention away from the task of driving. The law refers to cell phones and any other handheld devices. Illinois police are cracking down on Distracted Driving and are even being funded through federal grants to ticket distracted drivers. For CDL drivers, a texting while driving ticket is considered a serious moving violation which will be used towards CDL disqualification.
Speeding Through a Construction Zone and School Zone Ticket
Speeding above the posted speed limit through a construction zone is considered a serious moving violation for the CDL holder. The situation looks worse if the officer writes “workers present” on the ticket.
School zones become a major concern when commercial vehicles exit the highways and enter residential neighborhoods. Police routinely patrol these areas to catch speeders. For CDL drivers this violation is a serious offense putting your license at risk for disqualification.
Truck Accident Ticket
A CDL holder found in violation of failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident is guilty of a serious moving violation. A finding of guilty is considered a serious moving violation and consideration for a disqualification. The fact the driver was traveling less than the posted speed limit is no defense. Speed must be decreased as necessary given the road conditions in order to avoid a collision with another vehicle or person on a roadway 625 ILCS 5/11-601(a). There are times that law enforcement may issue a following too closely citation at a rear-end collision. 625 ILCS 5/11-710. Furthermore, a plea of guilty is an admission of guilt that may be used against you in a civil matter arising out of the accident.
Overweight Truck Ticket
If a police officer has reason to believe that a truck is overweight he/she can curb that truck and can issue an overweight citation at a stationary weigh station or at portable scales. Overweight tickets are not serious traffic violations for purposes of CDL disqualification. Although a truck grossly overweight beyond the permit carried can result in extremely high fines in the tens of thousands of dollars. With a firm understanding of the law we work with the client to assess the situation from a business perspective to determine the best outcome, from reducing the fines substantially or proceeding to trial.
Under Illinois law, 625 ILCS 5/11-503 defines reckless driving as operating a motor vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” or “knowingly driving a vehicle and using an incline . . . causing the vehicle to become airborne.” The offense of reckless driving is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $2,500.00 fine. Because reckless driving is a Class A misdemeanor, you may be arrested rather than given a citation, at the police officer’s discretion. A charge of reckless driving will cause a CDL holder to be disqualified for 1 year.
Aggravated reckless driving, a felony, is charged when bodily harm, great bodily harm, disfigurement or permanent disability to another results. Aggravated reckless driving may be charged as a Class 4 felony (punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison) or as a Class 3 felony (2 to 5 years in prison) and up to $25,000 in fines depending on the facts and circumstances of the offense.
Illinois treats DUI offenders very seriously. For the non-CDL driver, operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or more is guilty of Driving Under the Influence. For the CDL driver the consequences are more severe. A one year disqualification on a first offense and a lifetime disqualification for a subsequent conviction.
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