I would like to give Rep Jack D. Franks a little shout out. Rep. Franks a Democrat from Woodstock has taken to task the revenue from Red Light Cameras. He introduced legislation (HB4686) that would lower the maximum fine from $100 to $50. While I wish he would introduce legislation that ban these out right we can all agree that Springfield would not let that happen. So here is to Rep. Franks and his effort to make driving a little easier in our state.
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New Research is showing accident claims are not affected by bans on talking or texting on cell phones. So the next question is with this knowledge what will lawmakers do now? Will they come up with stricter penalties? Roll back legislation? or just leave them the same. Either way this supports my belief that many lawmakers just pass laws that look good without really addressing underlying problems.
For more information feel free to look here.
Attention drivers of commercial vehicles:
Effective immediately drivers of buses and vehicles over 10,000 are prohibited from texting nationwide.
Over the next few weeks many of you will be getting their tax returns back. The refund check is a perfect opportunity to clean up your license. Many communities offer parking ticket amnesty programs in late January and February. Hire a lawyer to figure out what exactly is wrong with your license or if you already know contact Brian Small for a license reinstatement hearing. Make 2010 the year you get yourself back on the road legally.
Mayor Daley has proposed a grace period of 5 minutes after your meter expires. This is a rare move for the city. It would allow a driver to contest the ticket if it was written in this grace period. The catch? You get one shot at this a year. Read more over at the Chicago Tribune.
Often times people ask what the benefit of hiring a lawyer is. Recently a young man called me about fixing his license. It became apparent in moments that he had not been given the kinds of fines etc. after a DUI years ago. What he has saved in legal fees will not even begin to cover the fines, costs, future legal fees, and lost wages. Some lawyers are dirt cheap some are very expensive but if you try I think you can find one you can afford. Trust me when I say this pay a little now or pay a lot more later.
A recent article in the Sun-Times available here got me thinking. When and how should you stop your parents from driving. It isn’t just parents. Unfortunately, many of us know someone who has a disability that puts themselves and others at risk. When someone you love has a disability what do you do if the person is unwilling to listen to your advice and they really should not drive? My advice would be to have their physician and your loved one fill out a medical for available here. Should a physician check a box indicating your loved one is not safe to drive it can prevent them from being able to renew the license. However, getting a loved one to sign the form is critical and they may be unwilling to sign.
I know this is a tough thing facing many children of baby boomers in the coming years. I urge you for their safety don’t be afraid to have this talk when the time comes. My family did with my Grandmother and I do think in the end it saved her.
Last week the State Journal Register published an article here on ignition control devices. The new requires individuals have to have a device installed in their car for months if they wish to drive. I have had similar experiences as the attorney in the article that many clients find the device difficult to use and expensive.
The biggest downside to this law is, in my opinion, creating a group of unproductive members of society. This law has done nothing but ruin the lives of more than one of my clients. Those will argue it is part of punishment, however the goal of a law should also be to restore that member to society in a fashion that enables him to do his time and move on.
I find it very interesting that the police spokesperson refused to comment on the legislation a year later. We need to take some time to really consider this law to see if it really worth having.
Once again Red-light Cameras are gracing the pages of the Chicago Tribune. See their story here on how these cameras are not making intersections any safer. In fact they are on occasion making some intersections a bit more dangerous.
Here are Brian Small’s Tips on Cameras:
- They do not count against your driving record.
- If you believe the ticket is in error watch the video. Each ticket you receive in the mail has a link to a video of you passing through the intersection.
- Fight it if you the video does not prove you ran the light.
Two new distracted driving laws on the books this new year.
1. No texting or emailing anywhere in Illinois
2. Must use a handsfree device in school and construction zones throughout Illinois.
These two new laws are designed to cut down on accidents from distracted driving.
I however expect to see a spike in police activity near 100 foot long construction zones. So be careful drivers both in where you use your phone and how you drive. Too many of these tickets and you could face a license suspension.
Here is an article from the Tribune on it.