Traffic Law

Traffic Law in Chicago

While most motorists in Illinois operate their vehicles by abiding by traffic laws, there are still some who break them. These violations can range from minor offenses to major ones.

Residents of majority-Black neighborhoods get tickets at a rate twice as high as white neighborhoods. The reasons for the disparity are complex and varied.


The law states that a driver must drive at a speed reasonable and proper for the conditions. This means that you must slow down in areas with low visibility, when approaching and crossing intersections, or during construction or hazardous weather conditions.

Despite being a violation of traffic law in Chicago, the majority of drivers who get speeding tickets are not arrested. Often, they are given a probationary period and must complete certain court requirements in order to have the charges dropped. This includes paying the fine, attending traffic school and keeping a clean driving record.

However, the city’s system of lowering the threshold for speeding ticket amounts is facing strong opposition from residents and some elected officials. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who was the first to introduce the lower limit in 2021, condemned the move as unfairly burdening poor communities. She has threatened to veto the measure. The council’s finance committee used a procedural maneuver to postpone the vote during a tense meeting on Wednesday.

Red light runners

Illinois state law (625 ILCS 5/11-305 and 5/11-306) requires drivers to stop before entering an intersection or crosswalk when a signal turns red. This rule applies to motorists going straight or turning left or right, as well as those who are stopped at the intersection waiting for a green light. Drivers who fail to come to a full stop are guilty of running a red light.

Many people are injured or killed in traffic accidents caused by red light runners. These drivers often disregard safety regulations when they are in a hurry or distracted. These accidents can be caused by rear-end crashes, T-bone collisions, side-swipes, head-on crashes or pedestrian or vehicle-to-vehicle incidents.

Many observers have criticized the city’s use of red light cameras as a revenue generator rather than a public safety solution. ProPublica’s analysis of millions of tickets reveals that households in Black and Latino neighborhoods receive about double the number of camera tickets as those in white areas.

Failure to yield

Drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and vehicles with the right of way. When drivers fail to observe these laws, they can harm others in serious car accidents. The victims of these collisions may be able to recover damages for medical costs, lost income and pain and suffering.

When many people think about a failure to yield violation, they tend to picture someone rolling through a stop sign. However, this type of offense also includes drivers who slow down but don’t completely look before moving forward.

Under Illinois law, drivers facing a steady red light must stop at the clearly marked stop line or, where no such line exists, at a crosswalk and remain stopped until an indication to proceed is displayed. Leaving the roadway to avoid traffic control devices is also illegal. This puts cyclists, pedestrians and other motorists in danger. Drivers can be penalized with fines and have their license suspended.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving is a common cause of traffic accidents. This is why Illinois has strict laws to protect motorists. For example, it is against the law to send or read text messages using your mobile phone while you are driving. This includes hands-free devices as well. This type of distraction is especially dangerous for young drivers.

The law defines an electronic communication device as any wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, smartphone or portable or mobile computer that is capable of accessing the internet and can be used to compose, send, read or receive text-based communications. It is also illegal to use these devices in construction or school speed zones.

Many local governments and other organizations work on public safety initiatives to prevent distracted driving. Several excellent resources are available for people to learn more about this issue and to take proactive steps to improve their own driving habits. If you get a ticket for distracted driving, it can be expensive and may even result in suspension of your driver’s license. A Chicago traffic lawyer can help you fight this kind of ticket.

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